IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Rising Inequality in an Era of Austerity: The Case of the US


  • Mark D. Partridge
  • Amanda L. Weinstein


US inequality has rapidly increased since the early 1970s. For advanced economies, inequality is linked to stronger incentives that enhance growth, education, innovation and entrepreneurship. However, the rise in US inequality is concentrated in the top 1%. Hence it is increasingly possible that economic rewards may be too uncertain to promote effort, suggesting the US has crossed a tipping point in which inequality reduces growth. Other costs include more social and political instability, making inequality the next potential “crisis” facing America. This study first examines trends in inequality and then reviews arguments that suggest that it is both good and bad for growth in America's cities. We then provide evidence that there has been a reversal in the effects of inequality after 2000 with it now being associated with less income and job growth in US metropolitan areas. We conclude by arguing that no general solution is possible without significant political reforms that equalize political influence.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark D. Partridge & Amanda L. Weinstein, 2013. "Rising Inequality in an Era of Austerity: The Case of the US," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(3), pages 388-410, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eurpls:v:21:y:2013:i:3:p:388-410
    DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2012.716247

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    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

    1. Andrew G. Berg & Jonathan D. Ostry, 2017. "Inequality and Unsustainable Growth: Two Sides of the Same Coin?," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 65(4), pages 792-815, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Sébastien Breau & Dieter F. Kogler & Kenyon C. Bolton, 2014. "On the Relationship between Innovation and Wage Inequality: New Evidence from Canadian Cities," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 90(4), pages 351-373, October.
    2. Neil Lee & Paul Sissons, 2016. "Inclusive growth? The relationship between economic growth and poverty in British cities," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 48(11), pages 2317-2339, November.
    3. Goetz, Stephen & Partridge, Mark & Stephens, Heather, 2017. "The Economic Status of Rural America in the Trump Era," MPRA Paper 77830, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    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:taf:eurpls:v:21:y:2013:i:3:p:388-410. 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: (Chris Longhurst). 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.

    If CitEc recognized a 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.

    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.