IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in the United States

  • Lane Kenworthy

    ()

    (Department of Sociology, University Arizona)

  • Timothy Smeeding

    (Affairs and Economics, University Wisconsin-Madison)

In brief, we find that inequality is high and rising in the United States, but the great majority of the increase was captured by the top end of the distribution since the mid-1990s—the top 1 percent in any given year and the top 5 to 10 percent overall—over the past 40 years. Overall inequality increased at a slow pace in recent years owing to the better economic status of the elderly, but inequality among families and children has continued to rise in the United States. The general focus in chapter 2 is on longer-term trends in inequality and poverty going back to 1967 or 1979. Data on trends in income and consumption inequality, poverty, and wealth inequality, show considerable increases over this period but a relatively constant level of poverty using European relative poverty definitions. When we assess the proximate causes or driving factors of U.S. inequality and find that labor markets (rising inequality in wages and earnings) and income from capital drive the inequality distribution in the United States, with redistribution playing only a minor and more or less constant role. There is a huge body of research on the causes of rising inequality and the consensus view is that technological change has increased the demand for skilled workers faster than the supply of skilled workers in the United States. Goldin and Katz (2008) show that the growth of U.S. schooling slowed for people entering the labor market in the late 1970s. As the supply of skills slowed down and the demand for skills continued to rise (due to technological change and wider international markets), the premium for having an education led to a rapid rise in wages at the top of the distribution.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.uva-aias.net/uploaded_files/publications/US.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies in its series GINI Country Reports with number united_states.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aia:ginicr:united_states
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130, 1018 VZ Amsterdam

Phone: +31-20-5254199
Fax: +31-20-5254301
Web page: http://www.uva-aias.net
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8973, 01-2013.
  2. Yonatan Ben-Shalom & Robert A. Moffitt & John Karl Scholz, 2011. "An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Anti-Poverty Programs in the United States," Mathematica Policy Research Reports cfc848ed6ab647bcb38ab47bb, Mathematica Policy Research.
  3. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2011. "What Explains the German Labor Market Miracle in the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 273-335.
  4. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do about It?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 25-42, Winter.
  5. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2009. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," NBER Working Papers 15408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Auten, Gerald & Gee, Geoffrey, 2009. "Income Mobility in the United States: New Evidence from Income Tax Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 62(2), pages 301-28, June.
  7. 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.
  8. David R. Howell & Bert M. Azizoglu, 2011. "Unemployment benefits and work incentives: the US labour market in the Great Recession," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 221-240.
  9. Daniel Aaronson & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2008. "Intergenerational Economic Mobility in the United States, 1940 to 2000," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  10. Harding, David J. & Jencks, Christopher & Lopoo, Leonard M. & Mayer, Susan E., 2003. "The Changing Effect of Family Background on the Incomes of American Adults," Working Paper Series rwp03-045, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  11. Henry S. Farber, 2011. "Job Loss in the Great Recession: Historical Perspective from the Displaced Workers Survey, 1984-2010," NBER Working Papers 17040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Kenworthy, Lane, 2011. "Progress for the Poor," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199591527, December.
  13. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier & Nahid Tabatabai, 2009. "What the Stock Market Decline Means for the Financial Security and Retirement Choices of the Near-Retirement Population," NBER Working Papers 15435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Henry S. Farber, 2011. "Job Loss in the Great Recession: Historial Perspective from the Displaced Workers Survey, 1984-2010," Working Papers 1309, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  15. Reinhart, Karmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. ""This time is different": panorama of eight centuries of financial crises," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 77-114, March.
  16. Farber, Henry S, 2011. "Job Loss in the Great Recession: Historical Perspective from the Displaced Workers Survey, 1984-2010," IZA Discussion Papers 5696, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Van Kerm, Philippe, 2011. "Patterns of persistent poverty: evidence from EU-SILC," ISER Working Paper Series 2011-30, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aia:ginicr:united_states. 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: (Wiemer Salverda)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.