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

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  • 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
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    Cited by:

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    2. 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.
    3. 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).
    4. 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.
    5. Caiani, Alessandro & Russo, Alberto & Gallegati, Mauro, 2016. "Does Inequality Hamper Innovation and Growth?," MPRA Paper 71864, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2017. "Consumption and income inequality in the US since the 1960s," AEI Economics Working Papers 953873, American Enterprise Institute.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Gradín, Carlos & Wu, Binbin, 2020. "Income and consumption inequality in China: A comparative approach with India," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).

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