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The Levy Institute Measure of Economic Well-Being United States, 1989-2001

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Author Info

  • Edward N. Wolff

    (New York University
    Bard College)

  • Ajit Zacharias

    (Bard College)

Abstract

The picture of economic well-being depends crucially on how it is measured. We introduce a new measure of economic well-being that includes public consumption, income from wealth, and household production. The differences in scope and method between our measure and standard income lead to substantially different findings regarding economic well-being. The average U.S. household appears to be much better off in 2001 relative to 1989 according to our measure in comparison to money income. In contrast to official measures, our measure shows that racial disparity increased. The increase in measured inequality was higher than indicated by the official measures.

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File URL: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/Volume33/V33N4P443_470.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 33 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 443-470

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Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:33:y:2007:i:4:p:443-470

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Postal: c/o Dr. Alexandre Olbrecht, The Anisfield School of Business 205, Ramapo College, 505 Ramapo Valley Road, Ramapo, New Jersey 07430, USA
Phone: (201) 684-7346
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Web page: http://www.ramapo.edu/eea/journal.html
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  1. Landefeld, J Steven & McCulla, Stephanie H, 2000. "Accounting for Nonmarket Household Production within a National Accounts Framework," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(3), pages 289-307, September.
  2. Shujie Yao, 1999. "On the decomposition of Gini coefficients by population class and income source: a spreadsheet approach and application," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(10), pages 1249-1264.
  3. Ruggles, Patricia & O'Higgins, Michael, 1981. "The Distribution of Public Expenditure among Households in the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 27(2), pages 137-64, June.
  4. Edward N. Wolff & Ajit Zacharias, 2003. "The Levy Institute Measure of Economic Well-Being," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_372, Levy Economics Institute.
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Cited by:
  1. Edward N. Wolff & Ajit Zacharias & Thomas Masterson & Selcuk Eren & Andrew Sharpe & Elspeth Hazell, 2012. "A Comparison of Inequality and Living Standards in Canada and the United States Using an Expanded Measure of Economic Well-Being," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_703, Levy Economics Institute.

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