IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/revinw/v61y2015i4p630-650.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Inequality of Income and Consumption in the U.S.: Measuring the Trends in Inequality from 1984 to 2011 for the Same Individuals

Author

Listed:
  • Jonathan Fisher
  • David S. Johnson
  • Timothy M. Smeeding

Abstract

type="main"> This paper examines the distribution of income and consumption in the U.S. using one dataset that obtains measures of both income and consumption from the same set of individuals. We develop a set of inequality measures that show the increase in inequality during the past 27 years using the 1984–2011 Consumer Expenditure Survey. We find that the trends in income and consumption inequality are similar between 1984 and 2006, and diverge during and after the Great Recession. For the entire 27-year period we find that consumption inequality increases almost as much as does income inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:61:y:2015:i:4:p:630-650
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/roiw.12129
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 15-51, January.
    2. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 2009. "The Rising Instability of U.S. Earnings," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 3-24, Fall.
    3. Jason DeBacker & Bradley Heim & Vasia Panousi & Shanthi Ramnath & Ivan Vidangos, 2013. "Rising Inequality: Transitory or Persistent? New Evidence from a Panel of U.S. Tax Returns," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(1 (Spring), pages 67-142.
    4. Congressional Budget Office, 2011. "Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007," Reports 42729, Congressional Budget Office.
    5. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
    6. Mark Aguiar & Mark Bils, 2015. "Has Consumption Inequality Mirrored Income Inequality?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(9), pages 2725-2756, September.
    7. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
    8. Mr. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Mr. Lorenz Kueng & Mr. John Silvia & Mr. Olivier Coibion, 2012. "Innocent Bystanders? Monetary Policy and Inequality in the U.S," IMF Working Papers 2012/199, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Timothy Smeeding & Gunther Schmaus & Brigitte Buhmann & Lee Rainwater, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates Across Ten Countries Using the LIS Database," LIS Working papers 17, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    10. Congressional Budget Office, 2012. "The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009," Reports 43373, Congressional Budget Office.
    11. Deaton, Angus & Paxson, Christina, 1994. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 437-467, June.
    12. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
    13. David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Macroeconomic Performance and the Disadvantaged," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 1-74.
    14. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality in the United States, 1913–1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-41.
    15. Congressional Budget Office, 2011. "Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007," Reports 42729, Congressional Budget Office.
    16. Sabelhaus, John, 1993. "What Is the Distributional Burden of Taxing Consumption?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 46(3), pages 331-344, September.
    17. Congressional Budget Office, 2012. "The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009," Reports 43373, Congressional Budget Office.
    18. Fabrizio Perri & Joe Steinberg, 2012. "Inequality and redistribution during the Great Recession," Economic Policy Paper 12-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    19. Robert J. Gordon & Ian Dew-Becker, 2008. "Controversies about the Rise of American Inequality: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 13982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. 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.
    21. Jonathan Fisher, 2006. "Income Imputation and the Analysis of Expenditure Data in the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Working Papers 394, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    22. Jonathan A. Parker & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2009. "Who Bears Aggregate Fluctuations and How?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 399-405, May.
    23. Michael D. Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2011. "The Effects of the Financial Crisis on Actual and Anticipated Consumption," Working Papers wp255, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    24. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Kueng, Lorenz & Silvia, John, 2017. "Innocent Bystanders? Monetary policy and inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 70-89.
    25. Slesnick,Daniel T., 2001. "Consumption and Social Welfare," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521497206, May.
    26. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1998. "Consumption Inequality and Income Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 603-640.
    27. Philip Armour & Richard V. Burkhauser & Jeff Larrimore, 2013. "Deconstructing Income and Income Inequality Measures: A Crosswalk from Market Income to Comprehensive Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 173-177, May.
    28. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
    29. Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2008. "Consumption Inequality and Partial Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1887-1921, December.
    30. Congressional Budget Office, 2012. "The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009," Reports 43373, Congressional Budget Office.
    31. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-142, June.
    32. Danziger, Sheldon & Taussig, Michael K, 1979. "The Income Unit and the Anatomy of Income Distribution," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 25(4), pages 365-375, December.
    33. Congressional Budget Office, 2012. "The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009," Reports 43373, Congressional Budget Office.
    34. Congressional Budget Office, 2011. "Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007," Reports 42729, Congressional Budget Office.
    35. Christopher D. Carroll & Thomas F. Crossley & John Sabelhaus, 2014. "Introduction to "Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures"," NBER Chapters, in: Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, pages 1-20, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    36. Saez, Emmanuel, 2009. "Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States (Update with 2007 estimates)," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt8dp1f91x, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    37. Emmanuel Saez, 2012. "Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States (Updated with 2009 and 2010 estimates)," Technical Notes 201202, World Inequality Lab.
    38. Sabelhaus, John, 1993. "What is the Distributional Burden of Taxing Consumption?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(3), pages 331-44, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Caiani, Alessandro & Russo, Alberto & Gallegati, Mauro, 2016. "Does Inequality Hamper Innovation and Growth?," MPRA Paper 71864, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Lane Kenworthy & Timothy Smeeding, 2013. "GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in the United States," GINI Country Reports united_states, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    5. Gradín, Carlos & Wu, Binbin, 2020. "Income and consumption inequality in China: A comparative approach with India," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    6. Alessandro Caiani & Alberto Russo & Mauro Gallegati, 2019. "Does inequality hamper innovation and growth? An AB-SFC analysis," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 177-228, March.
    7. Han, Jeehoon & Meyer, Bruce D. & Sullivan, James X., 2020. "Inequality in the joint distribution of consumption and time use," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    8. Salvatore Morelli & Timothy Smeeding & Jeffrey Thompson, 2014. "Post-1970 Trends in Within-Country Inequality and Poverty: Rich and Middle Income Countries," CSEF Working Papers 356, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    9. Jonathan D. Fisher & David S. Johnson & Timothy M. Smeeding & Jeffrey P. Thompson, 2022. "Inequality in 3‐D: Income, Consumption, and Wealth," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 68(1), pages 16-42, March.
    10. Soo, Kwok Tong, 2017. "Indivisibilities in the Ricardian model of trade," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 311-317.
    11. Jonathan D. Fisher & David S. Johnson & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2013. "Measuring the Trends in Inequality of Individuals and Families: Income and Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 184-188, May.
    12. Yu, Jian & Shi, Xunpeng & Cheong, Tsun Se, 2021. "Distribution dynamics of China's household consumption upgrading," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 193-203.
    13. David Argente & Munseob Lee, 2021. "Cost of Living Inequality During the Great Recession," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 913-952.
    14. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2017. "Consumption and Income Inequality in the U.S. Since the 1960s," NBER Working Papers 23655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Dennis Fixler & David S. Johnson, 2014. "Accounting for the Distribution of Income in the U.S. National Accounts," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Economic Sustainability and Progress, pages 213-244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Philip Armour & Richard V. Burkhauser & Jeff Larrimore, 2014. "Levels and Trends in U.S. Income and its Distribution: A Crosswalk from Market Income towards a Comprehensive Haig‐Simons Income Approach," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 81(2), pages 271-293, October.
    3. Richard V. Burkhauser & Jeff Larrimore & Sean Lyons, 2017. "Measuring Health Insurance Benefits: The Case Of People With Disabilities," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 439-456, July.
    4. Andrew Kliman, 2015. "The Great Recession and Marx's Crisis Theory," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 74(2), pages 236-277, March.
    5. Philip Armour & Richard V. Burkhauser & Jeff Larrimore, 2013. "Levels and Trends in United States Income and Its Distribution A Crosswalk from Market Income Towards a Comprehensive Haig-Simons Income Approach," NBER Working Papers 19110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jeff Larrimore, 2014. "Accounting for United States Household Income Inequality Trends: The Changing Importance of Household Structure and Male and Female Labor Earnings Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(4), pages 683-701, December.
    7. John Komlos, 2016. "Growth of Income and Welfare in the U.S. 1979-2011," CESifo Working Paper Series 5880, CESifo.
    8. Till Treeck, 2014. "Did Inequality Cause The U.S. Financial Crisis?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 421-448, July.
    9. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Lorenz Kueng & John Silvia, 2012. "Innocent Bystanders? Monetary Policy and Inequality in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 18170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Orazio Attanasio & Erik Hurst & Luigi Pistaferri, 2012. "The Evolution of Income, Consumption, and Leisure Inequality in The US, 1980-2010," NBER Working Papers 17982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Orazio Attanasio & Erik Hurst & Luigi Pistaferri, 2014. "The Evolution of Income, Consumption, and Leisure Inequality in the United States, 1980–2010," NBER Chapters, in: Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, pages 100-140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Sanders Korenman & Dahlia K. Remler & Rosemary T. Hyson, 2019. "Accounting for the Impact of Medicaid on Child Poverty," NBER Working Papers 25973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. De Giorgi, Giacomo & Gambetti, Luca & Naguib, Costanza, 2020. "Life-cycle inequality: Blacks and whites differentials in life expectancy, savings, income, and consumption," CEPR Discussion Papers 15182, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Mian, A. & Sufi, A., 2016. "Who Bears the Cost of Recessions? The Role of House Prices and Household Debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 255-296, Elsevier.
    15. James Elwell & Kevin Corinth & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2019. "Income Growth and its Distribution from Eisenhower to Obama: The Growing Importance of In-Kind Transfers (1959-2016)," NBER Working Papers 26439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2017. "Consumption and Income Inequality in the U.S. Since the 1960s," NBER Working Papers 23655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Philip Armour & Richard V. Burkhauser & Jeff Larrimore, 2013. "Deconstructing Income and Income Inequality Measures: A Crosswalk from Market Income to Comprehensive Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 173-177, May.
    18. Krueger, D. & Mitman, K. & Perri, F., 2016. "Macroeconomics and Household Heterogeneity," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 843-921, Elsevier.
    19. Giacomo De Giorgi & Luca Gambetti, 2012. "Consumption Heterogeneity over the Business Cycle," Working Papers 646, Barcelona School of Economics.
    20. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 681-722, August.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:61:y:2015:i:4:p:630-650. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/iariwea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/iariwea.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.