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Inequality as Policy: The United States Since 1979

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  • John Schmitt

Abstract

Since the end of the 1970s, the United States has seen a dramatic increase in economic inequality. While the United States has long been among the most unequal of the world’s rich economies, the economic and social upheaval that began in the 1970s was a striking departure from the movement toward greater equality that began in the Great Depression, continued through World War II, and was a central feature of the first 30 years of the postwar period. This is not due to chance circumstances but is the direct result of a set of policies designed first and foremost to increase inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • John Schmitt, 2009. "Inequality as Policy: The United States Since 1979," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2009-40, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  • Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2009-40
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    File URL: http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/inequality-policy-2009-10.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Janelle Jones & John Schmitt, 2016. "Trends in Job Quality for African-American Workers, 1979–2011," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
    2. Thompson Jeffrey P. & Leight Elias, 2012. "Do Rising Top Income Shares Affect the Incomes or Earnings of Low and Middle-Income Families?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-38, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • E66 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General Outlook and Conditions
    • H - Public Economics
    • I - Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • J8 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards
    • J88 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Public Policy
    • D - Microeconomics
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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