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.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
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, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
- I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002.
"Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
- David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "The Impact of Income Components on the Distribution of Family Incomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 311-26, May.
- Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
- David Domeij, 2008.
"Rising Earnings Inequality in Sweden: The Role of Composition and Prices,"
Scandinavian Journal of Economics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(3), pages 609-634, 09.
- Domeij, David, 2006. "Rising Earnings Inequality in Sweden: The Role of Composition and Prices," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 639, Stockholm School of Economics.
- Aassve, Arnstein & Burgess, Simon & Dickson, Matt & Propper, Carol, 2005.
"Modelling poverty by not modelling poverty: an application of a simultaneous hazards approach to the UK,"
ISER Working Paper Series
2005-26, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
- Arnstein Aassve & Simon Burgess & Matt Dickson & Carol Propper, 2005. "Modelling Poverty by not Modelling Poverty: An Application of a Simultaneous Hazards Approach to the UK," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 05/134, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
- Arnstein Aassve & Simon Burgess & Matt Dickson & Carol Propper, 2006. "Modelling poverty by not modelling poverty: An application of a simultaneous hazards approach to the UK," CASE Papers case106, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.