Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Long-Term Trends in the Levy Institute Measure of Economic Well-Being (LIMEW), United States, 1959-2004

Contents:

Author Info

  • Edward N. Wolff
  • Ajit Zacharias
  • Thomas Masterson

Abstract

We use here a new measure of household economic well-being called LIMEW. LIMEW is different in scope from the official United States Census Bureau measure of gross money income (MI) in that it includes taxes, noncash transfers, public consumption, income from wealth, and household production. We analyze trends in LIMEW from 1959 to 2004, and find that median LIMEW grew by 0.7 percent per year while median MI increased by 0.6 percent per year. LIMEW grew much slower than MI from 1959 to 1982, and much faster than MI from 1982 to 2004. In 2004, measured inequality was lower in LIMEW than MI (a difference of 5.5 Gini points); similarly, the increase in inequality between 1959 and 2004 was higher in MI than LIMEW (6.2 versus 5.1 Gini points). Much of the difference in these measures can be traced to the role of net government expenditures. According to both measures, the racial gap narrowed from 1959 to 1989; it then widened somewhat from 1989 to 2004 according to LIMEW but continued to narrow according to MI. The difference in time trends can be traced mainly to the rising income from wealth of white households relative to nonwhite households. The gap in well-being between single females and married couples widened from 1959 to 1989 and then narrowed slightly between 1989 and 2004 according to LIMEW but increased rather steadily from 1959 to 2004 according to MI. The fortunes of the elderly relative to the nonelderly showed considerable improvement from 1959 to 2004 according to LIMEW, almost reaching parity in 2004. In contrast, according to MI, the relative position of the elderly was about the same in 2004 as in 1959. In this instance, the difference in time trends can be traced mainly to rising income from wealth and government transfers accruing to the elderly relative to the nonelderly.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_556.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_556.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_556

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.levyinstitute.org

Related research

Keywords:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Andrew Sharpe & Alexander Murray & Benjamin Evans & Elspeth Hazell, 2011. "The Levy Institute Measure of Economic Well-Being: Estimates for Canada, 1999 and 2005," Economics Working Paper Archive, Levy Economics Institute wp_680, Levy Economics Institute.
  2. Edward N. Wolff, 2012. "The Asset Price Meltdown and the Wealth of the Middle Class," NBER Working Papers 18559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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, Levy Economics Institute wp_703, Levy Economics Institute.
  4. Andrew Sharpe & Alexander Murray & Benjamin Evans & Elspeth Hazell, 2011. "The Levy Institute Measure of Economic Well-Being: Estimates for Canada, 1999 and 2005," CSLS Research Reports, Centre for the Study of Living Standards 2011-09, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_556. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marie-Celeste Edwards).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.