Lower income households either lost more during the crisis or benefited less from the recovery. Across the world, real household disposable income stagnated. Meanwhile, the income of the bottom 10% of the population declined from 2007 to 2011 by 1.6% per year according to a new study by the OECD.
In the US and France, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer—which may explain recent unrest, from the “Occupy” movement exclaiming “We are the 99 percent” to demonstrations across France. And the data leans in favour of Thomas Piketty’s thesis that wealth inequality is increasing: certainly the period of the financial crisis upholds that depressing view.