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Rising Family Income Inequality The Importance of Sorting


  • Deborah Reed
  • Maria Cancian


This article found that changes in income sorting account for more than half of the increase in family income inequality in the United States over the past three decades. Furthermore, income sorting accounts for an even larger share of the growing gap between middle- and low-income families and suggests that understanding inequality of economic well-being requires going beyond labor earnings and other income sources to examine the composition and work behaviors of families.

Suggested Citation

  • Deborah Reed & Maria Cancian, 2012. "Rising Family Income Inequality The Importance of Sorting," Mathematica Policy Research Reports d59c8a54aea04a1fa5eab9135, Mathematica Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpr:mprres:d59c8a54aea04a1fa5eab913500a6aa0

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0576-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:demogr:v:55:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s13524-018-0670-y is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:nse:ecosta:ecostat_2017_493_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Emma Calvert & Tony Fahey, 2013. "The Impact of Income Inequality on the Family: A test of a thesis," Working Papers 201302, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

    More about this item


    Family Income Sorting Family Support;

    JEL classification:

    • I - Health, Education, and Welfare


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