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Inequality and Household Economic Hardship in the United States of America


  • Heather Boushey
  • Christian E. Weller


Income inequality in the United States of America has increased over the past few decades. Along with this development, employee compensation as a share of national income has tended to decline, the profit share of national income has grown, and inequality within labour has risen. There is no empirical support for the argument that greater inequality has resulted in faster productivity growth, but there is some indication that rising inequality has been connected to slower demand growth. Increased access to credit may have temporarily muted the implications of greater income inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Heather Boushey & Christian E. Weller, 2006. "Inequality and Household Economic Hardship in the United States of America," Working Papers 18, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
  • Handle: RePEc:une:wpaper:18

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Behringer & Till van Treeck, 2013. "Income distribution and current account: A sectoral perspective," IMK Working Paper 125-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    2. Grinstein-Weiss, Michal & Spader, Jonathan & Yeo, Yeong Hun & Taylor, Andréa & Books Freeze, Elizabeth, 2011. "Parental transfer of financial knowledge and later credit outcomes among low- and moderate-income homeowners," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 78-85, January.
    3. Christian A. Belabed & Thomas Theobald & Till van Treeck, 2013. "Income Distribution and Current Account Imbalances," IMK Working Paper 126-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    4. Olivier Giovannoni, 2014. "What Do We Know About the Labor Share and the Profit Share? Part III: Measures and Structural Factors," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_805, Levy Economics Institute.
    5. Jakob Kapeller & Bernhard Schütz, 2015. "Conspicuous Consumption, Inequality and Debt: The Nature of Consumption-driven Profit-led Regimes," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 51-70, February.
    6. Jakob Kapeller & Bernhard Schütz, 2012. "Debt, Boom, Bust: A Theory of Minsky-Veblen Cycles," Economics working papers 2012-14, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    7. Photis Lysandrou, 2011. "Global Inequality and the Global Financial Crisis: The New Transmission Mechanism," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Globalisation, Second Edition, chapter 27 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. van Treeck, Till. & Sturn, Simon., 2012. "Income inequality as a cause of the Great Recession? : A survey of current debates," ILO Working Papers 994709343402676, International Labour Organization.
    9. Till van Treeck, 2012. "Did inequality cause the U.S. financial crisis?," IMK Working Paper 91-2012, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    10. Jakob Kapeller & Bernhard Schütz, 2013. "Exploring Pluralist Economics: The Case of the Minsky-Veblen Cycles," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 515-524.

    More about this item


    wage inequality; income inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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