Wage Inequality, Earnings Inequality and Poverty in the U.S. Over the Last Quarter of the Twentieth Century
AbstractThis paper tracks distributional changes over the last quarter of the twentieth century. We focus on three conceptually distinct distributions: the distribution of wages, the distribution of annual earnings and the distribution of total family income adjusted for family size. We show that all three distributions became less equal during the last half of the 1970's and the 1980's. This was, however, not the case during the 1990's. Wage inequality stabilized, earnings inequality declined and family income inequality actually continued to rise. We decompose changes in family income inequality over the last quarter century and show that roughly half of the increase is accounted for by changes in the distribution of earnings. This suggests that further research on family income inequality should pay as much attention to changes in the distribution of other income sources as to factors affecting the labor market.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 560.
Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: 16 May 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published, Review of Income and Wealth, 51:231-254, 2005
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill MA 02467 USA
Web page: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC/
More information through EDIRC
Poverty; earnings inequality; family income inequality;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - General Welfare
- I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
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