IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Rich versus Poor? An Econometric Analysis of Relative Income Extremes


  • Philip N. Jefferson

    (Swarthmore College)

  • Frederic L. Pryor

    () (Department of Economics, Swarthmore College)


We explore the hypothesis that income of the rich increases at the expense of income of the poor. In a simple linear regression model, the relative (to the median) incomes of the poor and the rich are significantly and inversely related. Using standard time-series methods, we demonstrate that this relationship is not spurious. We also show that changes in the relative income of the rich are related to changes in the relative income of the poor, but that the reverse situation does not hold. Finally, we present a research puzzle about the underlying mechanism accounting for these asymmetric results.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip N. Jefferson & Frederic L. Pryor, 2001. "Rich versus Poor? An Econometric Analysis of Relative Income Extremes," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 1-17, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:27:y:2001:i:1:p:1-17

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Income; Poor;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty


    Access and download statistics


    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:eej:eeconj:v:27:y:2001:i:1:p:1-17. 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: (Victor Matheson, College of the Holy Cross). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.