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Consumption and Income Inequality and the Great Recession

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2013. "Consumption and Income Inequality and the Great Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 178-183, May.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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.
    2. Jonathan Fisher & David S. Johnson & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2015. "Inequality of Income and Consumption in the U.S.: Measuring the Trends in Inequality from 1984 to 2011 for the Same Individuals," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(4), pages 630-650, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bridge, Brandon A. & Adhikari, Dadhi & Fontenla, Matías, 2016. "Household-level effects of electricity on income," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 222-228.
    2. Rémi Bazillier & Jérôme Hericourt, 2017. "The Circular Relationship Between Inequality, Leverage, And Financial Crises," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 463-496, April.
    3. Niamh Holton & Donal O'Neill, 2017. "The Changing Nature of Irish Wage Inequality from Boom to Bust," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 48(1), pages 1-26.
    4. repec:bla:econom:v:84:y:2017:i:334:p:157-179 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chris Belfield & Richard Blundell & Jonathan Cribb & Andrew Hood & Robert Joyce, 2017. "Two Decades of Income Inequality in Britain: The Role of Wages, Household Earnings and Redistribution," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(334), pages 157-179, April.
    6. Timothy Smeeding & Jonathan Latner, 2015. "PovcalNet, WDI and ‘All the Ginis’: a critical review," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 13(4), pages 603-628, December.
    7. Mian, A. & Sufi, A., 2016. "Who Bears the Cost of Recessions? The Role of House Prices and Household Debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    8. 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.
    9. repec:eee:eecrev:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:39-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Li, Hua & Yao, Shunbo & Yin, Runsheng & Liu, Guangquan, 2015. "Assessing the decadal impact of China's sloping land conversion program on household income under enrollment and earning differentiation," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 95-103.
    11. repec:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:184-192 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Benjamin M. Friedman, 2017. "Work and consumption in an era of unbalanced technological advance," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 221-237, April.
    13. Jonathan Fisher & David S. Johnson & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2015. "Inequality of Income and Consumption in the U.S.: Measuring the Trends in Inequality from 1984 to 2011 for the Same Individuals," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(4), pages 630-650, December.
    14. repec:voj:journl:v:63:y:2016:i:1:p:87-112 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Rémi Bazillier & Jérôme Héricourt, 2014. "The Circular Relationship between Inequality, Leverage, and Financial Crises: Intertwined Mechanisms and Competing Evidence," Working Papers 2014-22, CEPII research center.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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