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Consumption and Income Inequality and the Great Recession

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  • Bruce D. Meyer
  • James X. Sullivan

Abstract

We examine changes in consumption and income inequality between 2000 and 2011. During the most recent recession, unemployment rose and asset values declined sharply. We investigate how the recession affected inequality while addressing concerns about underreporting in consumption data. Income inequality rose throughout the period from 2000 to 2011. The 90/10 ratio was 19 percent higher at the end of this period than at the beginning. In contrast, consumption inequality rose during the first half of this period but then fell after 2005. By 2011, the 90/10 ratio for consumption was slightly lower than it was in 2000.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 178-83

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:178-83

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.178
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  1. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "The Under-Reporting of Transfers in Household Surveys: Its Nature and Consequences," Working Papers 0903, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
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Cited by:
  1. Liana Fox & Irwin Garfinkel & Neeraj Kaushal & Jane Waldfogel & Christopher Wimer, 2014. "Waging War on Poverty: Historical Trends in Poverty Using the Supplemental Poverty Measure," NBER Working Papers 19789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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