Dimensions of income inequality in Greece
This thesis investigated certain dimensions of inequality in Greece that have not or have only partially been explored so far, utilising the micro-data of a survey carried out in 1988 by the National Centre for Social Research. Reviewed were relevant studies conducted in the past, and evaluated were the available statistical data and information. Certain theoretical and methodological issues that one encounters when analysing and measuring inequality were also discussed. Initially, an analysis by income source was employed, which provided valuable information on the structure and profile of income inequality in Greece. The decomposition analysis by income components showed that entrepreneurial income is the most significant contributor to overall inequality in Greece, despite the fact that it represents a relatively small fraction of household income. Income taxes and social security contribution appeared to have a very weak distributional impact on overall inequality. This impact was explored further by employing regression analysis. It was found that the share of income tax and contributions is mainly related to wages and salaries. The most effective way to maximise their distributional impact is by eliminating tax evasion among the recipients of entrepreneurial income. The average household income was found to be greatly affected by certain population characteristics, and inequality appeared to vary substantially between population subgroups. The decomposition analysis showed that in all the population groups used, inequality between groups accounted for only a very small segment of the overall inequality. Finally, the hypothesis that, in Greece, the family background is a significant factor in determining the offspring's socio-economic status was tested. A loglinear analysis was used in order to uncover all the potentially complex relationship among the variables employed. These results suggested that people face unequal opportunities for education and unequal probabilities of falling below the poverty line due to their family background.