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Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of the enlargements of the European Union on inequality using an approach based on individuals' lifecycle incomes. This allows one to consider the effect of different rates of growth and survival rates. Inequality in terms of permanent income was substantially less than in current per capita income at the time of all the enlargements except those of the last 10 years. The results point to the key role of policies that stimulate growth in the less developed countries. With an annual β-convergence of 2% in current income, inequality in permanent income would be less than one third of what it is now.