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Income distribution, the apportionment of total national income among all the individuals and families in a country, is an issue closely tied to the way business operates within a society. In any market economy, it is business that generates most personal income, not only through wages and benefits but through interest, dividends, and stock appreciation as well. Therefore the distribution of income is a central concern of business ethics, for evaluating both the fairness of particular business practices and the overall contribution of business to the well-being of society.

Income distribution is generally measured in one of two ways. The simpler way is to divide a society's total income into segments, such as tenths or fifths, based on either per capita or family income. These slices ...

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