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Top Incomes, Rising Inequality, and Welfare

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Abstract

This paper develops a general-equilibrium model of skill-biased technological change that approximates the observed shifts in the shares of wage and non-wage income going to the top decile of U.S. households since 1980. Under realistic assumptions, we find that all agents can benefit from the technology change, provided that the observed rise in redistributive transfers over this period is taken into account. We show that the increase in capital’s share of total income and the presence of capital-entrepreneurial skill complementarity are two key features that help support the wages of ordinary workers as the new technology diffuses.

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  • Lansing, Kevin J. & Markiewicz, Agnieszka, 2012. "Top Incomes, Rising Inequality, and Welfare," Working Paper Series 2012-23, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, revised 15 Jun 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2012-23
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    Cited by:

    1. Bullard, James B., 2014. "Income inequality and monetary policy: a framework with answers to three questions," Speech 235, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    2. Maria Ferrara & Patrizio Tirelli, 2014. "Fiscal Consolidations: Can We Reap the Gain and Escape the Pain?," Working Papers 283, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2014.
    3. Ferrara, Maria & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2017. "Equitable fiscal consolidations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 207-223.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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