To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Income inequality in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Income before (green) and after (pink) taxes and transfer payments for different income groups starting with the lowest quintile

Income inequality has fluctuated considerably in the United States since measurements began around 1915, moving in an arc between peaks in the 1920s and 2000s, with a 30-year period of relatively lower inequality between 1950 and 1980.

The U.S. has the highest level of income inequality among its (post-)industrialized peers.[1] When measured for all households, U.S. income inequality is comparable to other developed countries before taxes and transfers, but is among the highest after taxes and transfers, meaning the U.S. shifts relatively less income from higher income households to lower income households. In 2016, average market income was $15,600 for the lowest quintile and $280,300 for the highest quintile. The degree of inequality accelerated within the top quintile, with the top 1% at $1.8 million, approximately 30 times the $59,300 income of the middle quintile.[2]

The economic and political impacts of inequality may include slower GDP growth, reduced income mobility, higher poverty rates, greater usage of household debt leading to increased risk of financial crises, and political polarization.[3][4] Causes of inequality may include executive compensation increasing relative to the average worker, financialization, greater industry concentration, lower unionization rates, lower effective tax rates on higher incomes, and technology changes that reward higher educational attainment.[5]

Measurement is debated, as inequality measures vary significantly, for example, across datasets[6][7] or whether the measurement is taken based on cash compensation (market income) or after taxes and transfer payments. The Gini coefficient is a widely accepted statistic that applies comparisons across jurisdictions, with a zero indicating perfect equality and 1 indicating maximum inequality. Further, various public and private data sets measure those incomes, e.g., from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO),[2] the Internal Revenue Service, and Census.[8] According to the Census Bureau, income inequality reached then record levels in 2018, with a Gini of 0.485,[9] Since then the Census Bureau have given values of 0.488 in 2020 and 0.494 in 2021, per pre-tax money income.[10]

U.S. tax and transfer policies are progressive and therefore reduce effective income inequality, as rates of tax generally increase as taxable income increases. As a group, the lowest earning workers, especially those with dependents, pay no income taxes and may actually receive a small subsidy from the federal government (from child credits and the Earned Income Tax Credit).[11] The 2016 U.S. Gini coefficient was .59 based on market income, but was reduced to .42 after taxes and transfers, according to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) figures. The top 1% share of market income rose from 9.6% in 1979 to a peak of 20.7% in 2007, before falling to 17.5% by 2016. After taxes and transfers, these figures were 7.4%, 16.6%, and 12.5%, respectively.[2]

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    1 624 196
    971 978
    229 564
    989 909
    1 007 181
  • Income and Wealth Inequality: Crash Course Economics #17
  • How Wealth Inequality Spiraled Out of Control | Robert Reich
  • Wealth Inequality in America Has Never Been Worse. The Middle Class Has Disappeared
  • Is inequality inevitable?
  • The Insane Scale of Global Wealth Inequality Visualized



Income growth since 1970
Relative income growth, organized by percentile classes, normalized to 1970 levels. Graph accounts for both income growth, and the hidden decline in the progressivity of the tax code at the top, the wealthiest earners having seen their effective tax rates steadily fall.[12]
Same data[12] as adjacent chart, but plotted on logarithmic scale to show absolute dollar amounts. Data shows a range of three orders of magnitude—a ~1000-fold difference.

Income distribution can be assessed using a variety of income definitions. Adjustments are applied for various reasons, particularly to better reflect the actual economic resources available to a given individual/household.

The CBO explains the Gini as "A standard composite measure of income inequality is the Gini coefficient, which summarizes an entire distribution in a single number that ranges from zero to one. A value of zero indicates complete equality (for example, if each household received the same amount of income), and a value of one indicates complete inequality (for example, if a single household received all the income). Thus, a Gini coefficient that increases over time indicates rising income inequality."

"The Gini coefficient can also be interpreted as a measure of one-half of the average difference in income between every pair of households in the population, divided by the average income of the total population. For example, the Gini coefficient of 0.513 for 2016 indicates that the average difference in income between pairs of households in that year was equal to 102.6 percent (twice 0.513) of average household income in 2016, or about $70,700 (adjusted to account for differences in household size). Similarly, the Gini coefficient of 0.521 projected for 2021 indicates that the average difference in income between pairs of households would equal 104.2 percent (twice 0.521) of average household income in 2021, or about $77,800 (in 2016 dollars)."[14]: 22-24 

Top 1% share of US income pre-tax (blue and orange) and after-tax (green)[15][2]
Four charts that describe trends in income inequality in the United States. Top left: the share of pre-tax income earned by the top 1% (orange) versus the bottom 50% (blue). Top right: the share of after-tax income earned by the top 1% (orange) versus the bottom 50% (blue). Bottom left: the share of income earned by the top 5% (green), next 45% (blue), and the bottom 50% (yellow). Bottom right: the mean income of the top 5% (green), next 45% (blue), and bottom 50% (yellow) income groups.


Income inequality has fluctuated considerably since measurements began around 1915, declining between peaks in the 1920s and 2007 (CBO data[2]) or 2012 (Piketty, Saez, Zucman data[15]). Inequality steadily increased from around 1979 to 2007, with a small reduction through 2016,[2][16][17] followed by an increase from 2016 to 2018.[18]

Before 20th century

In the late 18th century, “incomes were more equally distributed in colonial America than in any other place that can be measured,” according to Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson. The richest 1 percent of households held only 8.5% of total income in the late 18th century. Some reasons for this include the ease that the average American had in buying frontier land, which was abundant at the time, and an overall scarcity of labor in non-slaveholding areas, which forced landowners to pay higher wages. There were also relatively few poor people in America at the time, since only those with at least some money could afford to come to America.[19]

In 1860, the top 1 percent collected almost one-third of property incomes, as compared to 13.7% in 1774. There was a great deal of competition for land in the cities and non-frontier areas during this time period, with those who had already acquired land becoming richer than everyone else. The newly burgeoning financial sector also greatly rewarded the already-wealthy, as they were the only ones financially sound enough to invest.[19]


An early governmental measure that slightly reduced inequality was the enactment of the first income tax in 1913. The 1918 household Gini coefficient (excluding capital gains) was 40.8. A brief but sharp depression in 1920-1921 reduced incomes. Income inequality rose from 1913 to peaks in 1926 (1928 Gini 48.9, 1936 Gini 45.5) and 1941 (Gini 43.1), after which war-time measures of the Roosevelt administration began to equalize the income distribution.[20] Social Security was enacted in 1935. At several points in this pre-World War II era, in which the Rockefellers and Carnegies dominated American industry, the richest 1% of Americans earned over 20% of the income share.[8]

The Great Compression, 1937–1967

Share of U.S. pre-tax income earned by the top 1% (blue) and top 0.1% (red) of households 1913–2016[8]

From about 1937 to 1947, a period dubbed as the "Great Compression",[21] income inequality fell dramatically. The GINI fell into the high 30s.[20] Progressive New Deal taxation, stronger unions, strong post-war economic growth and regulation by the National War Labor Board broadly raised market incomes and lowered the after-tax incomes of top earners.[22]: 47–52  In the 1950s, marginal tax rates reached 91%, although the top 1% paid only about 16% in income taxes.[23] Tax cuts in 1964 lowered marginal rates and closed loopholes. Medicare and Medicaid were enacted in 1965. The Earned Income Tax Credit was enacted in 1975.

The income change was the product of relatively high wages for trade union workers, lack of foreign manufacturing competition and political support for redistributive government policies. By 1947 more than a third of non-farm workers were union members.[22]: 49  Unions both raised average wages for their membership, and indirectly, and to a lesser extent, raised wages for non-union workers in similar occupations.[22]: 51  Economist Paul Krugman claimed that political support for equalizing government policies was provided by high voter turnout from union voting drives, Southern support for the New Deal, and prestige that the massive mobilization and victory of World War II had given the government.[22]: 52, 64, 66 

A 2022 study in the Economic Journal challenged that World War II was a great leveler in income inequality. The study points instead to a gradual decline in income inequality during the Great Depression which extended into the war years.[24]

1979–2007 increase

This CBO chart shows the cumulative increase in real household income by income quintile from 1979 to 2016, for income before taxes & transfers and after-tax income. It shows that even lower income quintiles still had sizable gains in income, although not as great as the top quintile.[2]

Americans have the highest income inequality in the rich world and over the past 20–30 years Americans have also experienced the greatest increase in income inequality among rich nations. The more detailed the data we can use to observe this change, the more skewed the change appears to be ... the majority of large gains are indeed at the top of the distribution.[25]

— Timothy Smeeding

The return to high inequality began in the 1980s.[26] The Gini first rose above 40 in 1983.[20] Inequality rose almost continuously, with inconsequential dips during the economic recessions in 1990–91 (Gini 42.0), 2001 (Gini 44.6) and 2007.[27][28] The lowest top 1% pre-tax income share measured between 1913 and 2016 was 10.9%, achieved in 1975, 1976 and 1980. By 1989, this figure was 14.4%, by 1999 it was 17.5% and by 2007 it was 19.6%.[8]

Major economic events that affected incomes included the return to lower inflation and higher growth, tax cuts and increases in the early 1980s, cuts following the 1986 tax reforms, tax increases in 1990 and 1993, expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program in 1997,[29] welfare reform, a 2000 recession, followed by tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 and increases in 2010.

CBO reported that for the 1979–2007 period, after-tax income (adjusted for inflation) of households in the top 1 percent of earners grew by 275%, compared to 65% for the next 19%, just under 40% for the next 60% and 18% for the bottom fifth.The share of after-tax income received by the top 1% more than doubled from about 8% in 1979 to over 17% in 2007. The share received by the other 19 percent of households in the highest quintile edged up from 35% to 36%.[30][31] The major cause was an increase in investment income. Capital gains accounted for 80% of the increase in market income for the households in the top 20% (2000–2007). Over the 1991–2000 period capital gains accounted for 45% of market income for the top 20%.

CBO reported that less progressive tax and transfer policies contributed to an increase in after tax/transfer inequality between 1979 and 2007.[32]

Higher incomes due to a college education were a key reason middle income households gained income share relative to those in the lower part of the distribution between 1973 and 2005. This was due in part to technology changes. However, education had less impact thereafter. Further, education did not explain why the top 1% gained disproportionately starting around 1980.[5] Causes included executive pay trends and the financialization of the economy.[5] For example, CEO pay expanded from around 30 times the typical worker pay in 1980 to nearly 350 times by 2007. From 1978 to 2018, CEO compensation grew 940% adjusted for inflation, versus 12% for the typical worker.[33] A 2012 study reported that the main occupational shift for the top 1% was towards finance, while in 2009 "the richest 25 hedge-fund investors earned more than $25 billion, roughly six times as much as all the chief executives of companies in the S&P 500 stock index combined."[34]

The share of income held by the top 1 percent was as large in 2005 as in 1928.[35] That year household Gini reached 45.[20]

2007–2016 reduction


The household income Gini index for the United States was 45.6 in 2009, and 45.4 in 2015, indicating a reduction in inequality during that time.[20] CBO reported that the share of after-tax income received by the top 1% peaked in 2007 at 16.6%. It fell to 11.3% in 2009 due in part to the impact on investment income from the Great Recession, then increased thereafter, to 14.9% by 2012 as the economy recovered. It then fell somewhat, reaching 12.5% by 2016, reflecting Obama policies including the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for top incomes, and both tax increases on top incomes and redistribution to lower income groups under the Affordable Care Act.[2]

CBO reported that for the 1979-2016 period, after-tax income (adjusted for inflation) of households in the top 1 percent of earners grew by 226%, compared to 65% for the 81st to 90th percentile, 47% for the 20th to 80th percentile, and 85% for the bottom fifth. The income growth for the top 1% was less than the 1979-2007 increase, while the bottom fifth was much higher, indicating a reduction in inequality from 2007 to 2016. The bottom quintile benefited from Medicaid expansion and refundable tax credits.[2]

Saez, et al.

CBO data indicates that real (inflation-adjusted) household income increased significantly after-taxes and transfers from 1979 to 2016 across all income quintiles. However, the top 1% income fell from 2007 to 2016, due to both the Great Recession and tax hikes on upper incomes during the Obama Administration.[2][36]
Share of U.S. income earned by top 1% households in 1979 (blue), 2007 (orange), and 2016 (green) (CBO data). The first date 1979 reflects the more egalitarian pre-1980 period, 2007 was the peak inequality of the post-1980 period, and the 2016 number reflects the Obama tax increases on the top 1% along with residual effects of the Great Recession.[2]

The top 1% earned 12% of market income in 1979, 20% in 2007 and 19% in 2016. For the bottom 50%, these figures were 20%, 14% and 13%, respectively. For the middle 40% group, a proxy for the middle class, these figures were 45%, 41% and 41%, respectively.[15] Measured by the share captured by the top 1%, by 2012, post-Great Recession market income inequality was as high as it was during the Roaring Twenties, at just over 20%.[37][15]

The Great Recession took place from December 2007 to June 2009.[38] From 2007 to 2010 total income going to the bottom 99 percent of Americans declined by 11.6%, while the top 1% fell by 36.3%.

In 2014 Saez and Gabriel Zucman reported that more than half of those in the top 1 percent had not experienced relative gains in wealth between 1960 and 2012. In fact, those between the top 1% and top .5% had lost relative wealth. Only those in the top .1% and above had made relative wealth gains during that time.[39] Saez reported in 2013 that, from 2009 to 2012, the incomes of the top 1% grew by 31.4%, while the incomes of the bottom 99% grew by 0.4%.[40]

In May 2017, they reported that income shares for those in the bottom half stagnated and declined from 1980 to 2014. Their share declined from 20% in 1980 to 12% in 2014, while the top 1% share grew from 12% in 1980 to 20%. The top 1% then made on average 81 times more than the bottom 50%, while in 1981 they made 27 times more. They attributed Inequality growth during the 1970s to the 1990s to wage growth among top earners, and that the widening gap had been due to investment income.[41][42]


The Great Recession lasted from 2008 to 2009, multiplying unemployment and crashing the stock market. Obama administration policies addressed inequality in three main ways, contributing to a reduction in the share of income going to the top 1% measured between 2007 and 2016, both pre-tax and after-tax:

  • Tax increases on top incomes. The Bush tax cuts were extended only for the bottom 98-99% incomes in 2013. CBO reported that the average federal tax rate on the top 1% increased from 28.6% in 2012 to 33.6% in 2013–2014, and remained at 33.3% in 2015–2016.[2]
  • The Affordable Care Act. CBO estimated the ACA shifted approximately $21,000 in after-tax income from the average top 1% household via the investment income tax and the Medicare tax, to provide $600 in health insurance subsidies to the average bottom 40% household via insurance subsidies and expanded Medicaid.[43] The Medicaid and CHIPs expansions amounted to 80% of the increase in means-tested transfers between 1979 and 2016.[29]
  • Anti-poverty programs. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) and unemployment insurance were expanded.[44]

Post-2016 increase

Average income—which heavily weights extremely high-income families—substantially exceeds median income (families in the fiftieth percentile).[45] Further, average income outgrew median income from 2019 through 2022.[45]

In 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 reduced personal and corporate income tax rates, which critics said would increase income inequality.[46]

Also in 2017, Forbes found that just three individuals (Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates) held more wealth than the bottom half of the population.[47]

In 2018, and for the first time in U.S. history, U.S. billionaires paid a lower effective tax rate than the working class. A study found that the average effective tax rate paid by the richest 400 families in the country was 23 percent, a full percentage point lower than the 24.2 percent rate paid by the bottom half of American households.[48][49]

In September 2019, the Census Bureau reported that income inequality in the United States had reached its highest level in 50 years, with the GINI index increasing from 48.2 in 2017 to 48.5 in 2018.[50]

If the United States had the same income distribution it had in 1979, the bottom 80 percent of the population would have $1 trillion – or $11,000 per family – more. The top 1 percent would have $1 trillion – or $750,000 – less.

Larry Summers in 2015[51]

In December 2019, CBO forecast that inequality would increase between 2016 and 2021. Their report had several conclusions: (Adjusted for inflation)

  • Before taxes and transfers, all income groups will see income growth, with the largest increases being for the highest and lowest quintiles. After taxes and transfers, that income growth is more skewed toward the higher income households.[14]: 0
  • The ratio of means tested transfers (aid for the poor) to income (BTT) will decrease, mainly because of income growth at the bottom of the distribution, which makes those households ineligible for transfers.[14]: 0
  • Lower federal taxes for all income groups, with the greatest decrease for the highest income households, predominately because of the Trump tax cuts.[14]: 0
  • Income inequality is projected to increase, both before taxes and transfers, and after taxes and transfers, from Ginis of .513 to .521 and .423 to .437, respectively. [14]: 0,22-24 [14]

According to a December 2020 analysis of W-2 earnings data from the Economic Policy Institute U.S. income inequality is worsening, as the earnings of the top 1% nearly doubled from 7.3% in 1979 to 13.2% in 2019 while over the same time period the average annual wages for the bottom 90% have stayed within the $30,000 range, increasing from $30,880 to $38,923, representing 69.8% of total earnings in 1979 and 60.9% in 2019 respectively. The earnings of the top 0.1% surged from $648,725 in 1979 to nearly $2.9 million in 2019, an increase of 345%.[52][53]


Income inequality and union participation have had a distinctly inverse relationship, with the disparity increasing since the 1980s.[54]
Illustrates the productivity gap (i.e., the annual growth rate in productivity minus annual growth rate in compensation) by industry from 1985 to 2015. Each dot is an industry; dots above the line have a productivity gap (i.e., productivity growth has exceeded compensation growth), those below the line do not.
Social connectedness to people of higher income levels is a strong predictor of upward income mobility.[55] However, data shows substantial social segregation correlating with economic income groups.[55]

According to CBO (and others), the precise reasons for the [recent] rapid growth in income at the top are not well understood",[27]: xi [56] but involved multiple, possibly conflicting, factors.[57][27]: xi [58]

Causes include:

  • decline of labor unions – Unions weakened in part due to globalization and automation may account for one-third to more than one-half of the rise of inequality among men. Pressure on employers to increase wages and on lawmakers to enact worker-friendly measures declined. Rewards from productivity gains went to executives, investors and creditors.[59][60][61][62][63] A study by Kristal and Cohen reported that rising wage inequality was driven more by declining unions and the fall in the real value of the minimum wage, with twice as much impact as technology.[64] An alternative theory states that passthrough income's contribution is incorrectly attributed to capital rather than labor.[29]
  • globalization – Low skilled American workers lost ground in the face of competition from low-wage workers in Asia and other "emerging" economies.[65][66]
  • skill-biased technological change – Rapid progress in information technology increased the demand for skilled and educated workers.[65]
  • superstars – Modern communication technologies often turn competition into a "winner take most" tournament in which the winner is richly rewarded, while the runners-up get far less.[65][67]
  • financialization – In the 1990s stock market capitalization rose from 55% to 155% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).[68] Corporations began to shift executive compensation toward stock options, increasing incentives for managers to make decisions to increase share prices. Average annual CEO options increased from $500,000 to over $3 million. Stock comprised almost 50% of CEO compensation.[69] Managers were incentivized to increase shareholder wealth rather than to improve long-term contracts with workers; between 2000 and 2007, nearly 75% of increased stock growth came at the cost of labor wages and salaries.[70]
  • immigration of less-educated workers – Relatively high levels of immigration of low skilled workers since 1965 may have reduced wages for American-born high school dropouts;[71]
  • college premium - Workers with college degrees traditionally earned more and faced a lower unemployment rate than others.[72] Wealthy families are also more likely to send their children to schools which have large endowments, resulting in more grants and lower student debt. The cycle is completed when wealthier alums donate more and disproportionately increase the size of elite endowments. Elite colleges also have better access to financial expertise.[73]
  • automation - The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that increased automation had led to "an overall drop in the need for labor input. This would cause capital share to increase, relative to labor share, as machines replace some workers."[74]

We haven't achieved the minimalist state that libertarians advocate. What we've achieved is a state too constrained to provide the public goods – investments in infrastructure, technology, and education – that would make for a vibrant economy and too weak to engage in the redistribution that is needed to create a fair society. But we have a state that is still large enough and distorted enough that it can provide a bounty of gifts to the wealthy.

Joseph Stiglitz[75]

  • policy – Critics have argued that neoliberal policies have increased economic inequality[76][77] and exacerbated global poverty.[78][79][80] According to Krugman, movement conservatives increased their influence over the Republican Party beginning in the 1970s. In the same era, it increased its political power. The result was less progressive tax laws, anti-labor policies, and slower expansion of the welfare state relative to other developed nations (e.g., the unique absence of universal healthcare).[22] Further, variation in income inequality across developed countries indicate that policy has a significant influence on inequality; Japan, Sweden and France have income inequality around 1960 levels.[clarification needed][81] The US was an early adopter of neoliberalism, which shifted the distribution of income from labor to capital,[82] and whose focus on growth over equality spread to other countries over time.[83][84] Nevertheless, the United States remains, according to Jonathan Hopkin, "the most extreme case of the subjection of society to the brute force of the market." As such, he argues this made the United States an outlier with economic inequality hitting "unprecedented levels for the rich democracies."[85] The Center for Economic and Policy Research's (CEPR) Dean Baker argued in 2006 that the driving force behind rising inequality in the United States has been a series of deliberate neoliberal policy choices, including anti-inflationary bias, anti-unionism and profiteering in the healthcare industry.[86] The economists David Howell and Mamadou Diallo contend that neoliberal policies have contributed to a United States economy in which 30% of workers earn low wages (less than two-thirds the median wage for full-time workers) and 35% of the labor force is underemployed while only 40% of the working-age population in the country is adequately employed.[87]
  • corporatism[88] and corpocracy[89][90] Excessive attention to the interests of corporations reduced scrutiny over compensation shifts.[91]
  • female labor force participation – High earning households are more likely to be dual earner households.[92]
  • stock ownership is tilted towards households at higher income and education levels, resulting in disparate investment income.[93]

Higher income households are disproportionately likely to prosper when economic times are good, and to suffer losses during downturns. More of their income comes from relatively volatile capital income. For example, in 2011 the top 1% of income earners derived 37% of their income from labor, versus 62% for the middle quintile. The top 1% derived 58% of their income from capital as opposed to 4% for the middle quintile. Government transfers represented only 1% of the income of the top 1% but 25% for the middle quintile; the dollar amounts of these transfers tend to rise in recessions.[16]

According to a 2018 report by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the US has higher income inequality and a larger percentage of low income workers than almost any other advanced nation because unemployed and at-risk workers get less support from the government and a weak collective bargaining system.[94]



Income inequality may contribute to slower economic growth, reduced income mobility, higher levels of household debt, and greater risk of financial crises and deflation.[95][96]

Real GDP per household has typically increased since the year 2000, while real median income per household was below 1999 levels until 2016, indicating a trend of greater income inequality (i.e., the average is more influenced by high income outliers than the median). The income considered in the two lines is different as well; the GDP figure includes all income (derived from labor and capital) while the median income figure includes only a subset of income (wages/salaries but not benefits).[97]
Labor's share of GDP declined by 4.5 percentage points from 1970 to 2016, measured based on total compensation. The decline measured for wages and salaries was 7.9 points. These trends imply income due to capital (i.e., asset ownership, such as rent, dividends, and business profits) is increasing as a % of GDP.[98]
While middle-class family incomes have stagnated as income shifts to the top, the costs of important goods and services continue rising, resulting in a "Middle class squeeze."[99]

Economic growth

Krueger wrote in 2012: "The rise in inequality in the United States over the last three decades has reached the point that inequality in incomes is causing an unhealthy division in opportunities, and is a threat to our economic growth. Restoring a greater degree of fairness to the U.S. job market would be good for businesses, good for the economy, and good for the country." Since the wealthy tend to save nearly 50% of their marginal income while the remainder of the population saves roughly 10%, other things equal this would reduce annual consumption (the largest component of GDP) by as much as 5%, but would increase investment, at least some of which would likely take place in the US. Krueger wrote that borrowing likely helped many households make up for this shift.[3]

Inequality in land and income ownership is negatively correlated with subsequent economic growth.[100] Increasing inequality harms growth in countries with high levels of urbanization.[101]

High unemployment rates have a significant negative effect[clarification needed] when interacting with increases in inequality. High unemployment also has a negative effect on long-run economic growth. Unemployment may seriously harm growth because resources sit idle, because it generates redistributive pressures and distortions, because it idles human capital and deters its accumulation, because it drives people to poverty, because it results in liquidity constraints that limit labor mobility, and because it erodes individual self-esteem and promotes social dislocation, unrest and conflict. Policies to control unemployment and reduce its inequality-associated effects can strengthen long-run growth.[102]

Economists such as David Moss, Krugman and Raghuram Rajan believe the "Great Divergence" may be connected to the 2008 financial crisis.[103][104]

Even conservatives must acknowledge that return on capital investment, and the liquid stocks and bonds that mimic it, are ultimately dependent on returns to labor in the form of jobs and real wage gains. If Main Street is unemployed and undercompensated, capital can only travel so far down Prosperity Road.... Investors/policymakers of the world wake up – you're killing the proletariat goose that lays your golden eggs."

— William H. Gross, former managing director of PIMCO[105][106]
A 2011 study by Ostry and Berg[107] of the factors affecting the duration of economic growth in developed and developing countries found that income equality has a more beneficial impact on steady growth than trade openness, sound political institutions, or foreign investment.

A December 2013 Associated Press survey of three dozen economists',[108] a 2014 report by Standard and Poor's[109] and economists Gar Alperovitz, Robert Reich, Joseph Stiglitz, Branko Milanovic and Robert Gordon agree about the harms of inequality.

The majority of the Associated Press survey respondents agreed that widening income disparity was harming the US economy. They argue that wealthy Americans are receiving higher pay, but they spend less per dollar earned than middle class consumers, whose incomes have largely stagnated.[108]

The S&P report concluded that diverging income inequality had slowed the recovery and could contribute to future boom-and-bust cycles given increasing personal debt levels. Higher levels of income inequality increase political pressures, discouraging trade, investment, hiring, and social mobility.[109]

Alperovitz and Reich argued that concentration of wealth does not leave sufficient purchasing power for the economy to function effectively.[110][failed verification][111]

Stiglitz argued that wealth and income concentration leads the economic elite to protect themselves from redistributive policies by weakening the state, which lessens public investments – roads, technology, education, etc. – that are essential for economic growth.[112][60]: 85 [113]

Milanovic stated that while traditionally economists thought inequality was good for growth, "When physical capital mattered most, savings and investments were key. Then it was important to have a large contingent of rich people who could save a greater proportion of their income than the poor and invest it in physical capital. But now that human capital is scarcer than machines, widespread education has become the secret to growth" and that while "broadly accessible education" is difficult to achieve under inequality, education tends to reduce income gaps.[114]

Gordon wrote that such issues as 'rising inequality; factor price equalization stemming from the interplay between globalization and the Internet; the twin educational problems of cost inflation in higher education and poor secondary student performance; the consequences of environmental regulations and taxes ..." make economic growth harder to achieve.[115]

In response to the Occupy movement, legal scholar Richard Epstein defended inequality in a free market society, maintaining that "taxing the top one percent even more means less wealth and fewer jobs for the rest of us." According to Epstein, "the inequalities in wealth ... pay for themselves by the vast increases in wealth", while "forced transfers of wealth through taxation ... will destroy the pools of wealth that are needed to generate new ventures".[116]

According to a 2020 study by the RAND Corporation, the typical worker, defined in the study as a "Full-Year, Full-Time, Prime-Aged Worker",[117] makes $42,000 less than he/she would have if income inequality had not increased over the last four decades. The study also shows that white working class males and rural workers who work full time have been the hardest hit, while the higher income earners captured the vast majority of economic growth over the same time period.[118] The total wealth difference would have exceeded $50 trillion by early 2020, an amount that would have led to a more prosperous economy and a healthier, more financially secure population. The report concludes that the American economy's radical inequality is hindering economic growth, as the benefits are mainly enjoyed by those at the top, while the majority, responsible for the bulk of consumer spending which constitutes 67% of GDP, are left behind.[117]

Financial crises

Income inequality was cited as one of the causes of the Great Depression by Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis in 1933. In his dissent in the Louis K. Liggett Co. v. Lee (288 U.S. 517) case, he wrote: "Other writers have shown that, coincident with the growth of these giant corporations, there has occurred a marked concentration of individual wealth; and that the resulting disparity in incomes is a major cause of the existing depression."[119]

Rajan argued that "systematic economic inequalities, within the United States and around the world, have created deep financial 'fault lines' that have made [financial] crises more likely to happen than in the past".[120][121]

Monopoly, labor, consolidation, and competition

Greater income inequality can lead to monopolization, resulting in fewer employers requiring fewer workers.[122][123] Remaining employers can consolidate and take advantage of the relative lack of competition.[102][123]

Aggregate demand

Income inequality is claimed to lower aggregate demand, leading to large segments of formerly middle class consumers unable to afford as many goods and services.[122] This pushes production and overall employment down.[102]

Income mobility

The ability to move from one income group into another (income mobility) is a measure of economic opportunity. A higher probability of upward income mobility theoretically would help mitigate higher income inequality, as each generation has a better chance of achieving higher income.

Several studies indicated that higher income inequality is associated with lower income mobility. In other words, income brackets tend to be increasingly "sticky" as income inequality increases. This is described by the Great Gatsby curve.[3][124] Noah summarized this as "you can't really experience ever-growing income inequality without experiencing a decline in Horatio Alger-style upward mobility because (to use a frequently-employed metaphor) it's harder to climb a ladder when the rungs are farther apart."[125]

Over lifetimes

A 2013 Brookings Institution study claimed that income inequality was increasing and becoming permanent, sharply reducing social mobility.[126] A 2007 study found the top population in the United States "very stable" and that income mobility had not "mitigated the dramatic increase in annual earnings concentration since the 1970s."[124]

Krugman argued that while in any given year, some people with low incomes will be "workers on temporary layoff, small businessmen taking writeoffs, farmers hit by bad weather" – the rise in their income in succeeding years is not the same 'mobility' as poor people rising to middle class or middle income rising to high income. It's the mobility of "the guy who works in the college bookstore and has a real job by his early thirties."[127]

Studies by the Urban Institute and the US Treasury have both found that about half of the families who start in either the top or the bottom quintile of the income distribution are still there after a decade, and that only 3 to 6% rise from bottom to top or fall from top to bottom.[127]

On the issue of whether most Americans stay in the same income bracket over time, the 2011 CBO distribution of income study reported:

Household income measured over a multi-year period is more equally distributed than income measured over one year, although only modestly so. Given the fairly substantial movement of households across income groups over time, it might seem that income measured over a number of years should be significantly more equally distributed than income measured over one year. However, much of the movement of households involves changes in income that are large enough to push households into different income groups but not large enough to greatly affect the overall distribution of income. Multi-year income measures also show the same pattern of increasing inequality over time as is observed in annual measures.[128]

In other words,

many people who have incomes greater than $1 million one year fall out of the category the next year – but that's typically because their income fell from, say, $1.05 million to .95 million, not because they went back to being middle class.

Disagreements about the correct procedure for measuring income inequality continues to be a topic of debate among economists, including a panel discussion at the 2019 American Economic Association annual meeting.

Between generations

The Great Gatsby curve showing intergenerational economic immobility on vertical axis and increasing inequality on the horizontal axis for a number of different countries

Several studies found the ability of children from poor or middle-class families to rise to upper income – known as "upward relative intergenerational mobility" – is lower in the US than in other developed countries.[129] Krueger and Corak found lower mobility to be linked to income inequality.[130][3]

In their Great Gatsby curve,[130] Labor economist Miles Corak found a negative correlation between inequality and social mobility. The curve plotted intergenerational income mobility, the likelihood that someone will match their parents' relative income level – and inequality for various countries.[3]

The connection between income inequality and low mobility can be explained by the lack of access and preparation for schools that is crucial to high-paying jobs; lack of health care may lead to obesity and diabetes and limit education and employment.[129]

Krueger estimated that "the persistence in the advantages and disadvantages of income passed from parents to the children" will "rise by about a quarter for the next generation as a result of the rise in inequality that the U.S. has seen in the last 25 years."[3]


Greater income inequality can increase the market income poverty rate, as income shifts from lower income brackets to upper brackets. Jared Bernstein wrote, "If less of the economy's market-generated growth – i.e., before taxes and transfers kick in – ends up in the lower reaches of the income scale, either there will be more poverty for any given level of GDP growth, or there will have to be a lot more transfers to offset inequality's poverty-inducing impact." The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) estimated that greater income inequality added 5.5% to the poverty rate between 1979 and 2007, other factors equal. Income inequality was the largest driver of the change in the poverty rate, with economic growth, family structure, education and race other important factors.[131][132] An estimated 11.8% of Americans lived in poverty in 2018,[133] versus 16% in 2012 and 26% in 1967.[134] The poverty threshold in the United States was at $12,880 for a single-person household and $26,246 for a family of four in 2021.[135][136] As of 2023, 2.75% of the U.S. population earn less than $10 per day.[137] 0.25% of the U.S. population lived below the international poverty line of $2.15 per day in 2020.[138][139]

A rise in income disparities weakens skills development among people with a poor educational background in terms of the quantity and quality of education attained.[140]


Income inequality may be the driving factor in growing household debt,[141][142] as high earners bid up the price of real estate and middle income earners go deeper into debt trying to maintain a middle class lifestyle.[143] Between 1983 and 2007, the top 5 percent saw their debt fall from 80 cents for every dollar of income to 65 cents, while the bottom 95 percent saw their debt rise from 60 cents for every dollar of income to $1.40.[141] Krugman found a strong correlation between inequality and household debt during the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.[104]

Twenty-first century college costs have risen much faster than income, resulting in an increase in student loan debt from $260 billion in 2004 to $1.6 trillion in 2019Q2.[144] From 1995 to 2013, outstanding education debt grew from 26% of average yearly income to 58%, for households with net worth below the 50th percentile.[145]

Democracy and society

Political cartoon from the Progressive Era, when wealth concentration was similar to that of the present, shows how the concentration of wealth in a few hands leads to the extinguishing of individualism, initiative, ambition, untainted success, and independence.

Bernstein and Krugman assessed the concentration of income as variously "unsustainable"[146] and "incompatible"[147] with democracy. Political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson quoted a warning by Greek-Roman historian Plutarch: "An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics."[148] Some academic researchers alleged that the US political system risks drifting towards oligarchy, through the influence of corporations, the wealthy and other special interest groups.[149][150]

Political polarization

Rising income inequality has been linked to political polarization.[4][151] Krugman wrote in 2014, "The basic story of political polarization over the past few decades is that, as a wealthy minority has pulled away economically from the rest of the country, it has pulled one major party along with it ... Any policy that benefits lower- and middle-income Americans at the expense of the elite – like health reform, which guarantees insurance to all and pays for that guarantee in part with taxes on higher incomes – will face bitter Republican opposition."[152] He used environmental protection as another example, which became a partisan issue only after the 1990s.[152][153] Evidence suggests the impact of national income inequality on regional economic divergence as one potential reason for the link between inequality and political polarization.[154]

As income inequality increased, the degree of House of Representatives polarization measured by voting record followed. Inequality increased influence by the rich on the regulatory, legislative and electoral processes.[155] McCarty, Pool and Rosenthal wrote in 2007 that Republicans had then moved away from redistributive policies that would reduce income inequality, whereas earlier, they had supported redistributive policies such as the EITC. Polarization thus completed a feedback loop, increasing inequality.[156]

The IMF warned in 2017 that rising income inequality within Western nations, in particular the United States, could result in further political polarization.[157]

Political inequality

Bartels studied the voting patterns of the US Senate and correlated it with the responsiveness to the opinions of different amounts of Income in the United States.[158]

Several economists and political scientists argued that income inequality translates into political inequality, as when politicians have financial incentives to accommodate special interest groups. Researchers such as Larry Bartels found that politicians are significantly more responsive to the political opinions of the wealthy, even when controlling for a range of variables including educational attainment and political knowledge.[159][160]

Class system

A class system is a society organized around the division of the population into groups having a permanent status that determines their relation to other groups.[161] Such groups may be defined by income, religion and/or other characteristics. Class warfare is thus conflict between/among such classes.

Investor Warren Buffett said in 2006, "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." He advocated much higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans.[162]

George Packer wrote, "Inequality hardens society into a class system ... Inequality divides us from one another in schools, in neighborhoods, at work, on airplanes, in hospitals, in what we eat, in the condition of our bodies, in what we think, in our children's futures, in how we die. Inequality makes it harder to imagine the lives of others."[163]

In recent US history, the class conflict has taken the form of the "1% versus the 99%" issue, particularly as reflected in the Occupy movement and struggles over tax policy and redistribution. The movement spread to 600 communities in 2011. Its main political slogan – "We are the 99%" – referenced its dissatisfaction with the era's income inequality.[164]

Political change

Increasing inequality is both a cause and effect of political change, according to journalist Hedrick Smith. The result was a political landscape dominated in the 1990s and 2000s by business groups, specifically "political insiders" – former members of Congress and government officials with an inside track – working for "Wall Street banks, the oil, defense, and pharmaceutical industries; and business trade associations." In the decade or so prior to the Great Divergence, middle-class-dominated reformist grassroots efforts – such as the civil rights movement, environmental movement, consumer movement, labor movement – had considerable political impact.[165]

World trade significantly expanded in the 1990s and thereafter, with the creation of the World Trade Organization and the negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. These agreements and related policies were widely supported by business groups and economists such as Krugman.[166] and Stiglitz[167] One outcome was greatly expanded foreign outsourcing, which has been argued to have hollowed out the middle class.[168]

Stiglitz later argued that inequality may explain political questions – such as why America's infrastructure (and other public investments) are deteriorating,[60]: 92  or the country's recent relative lack of reluctance to engage in military conflicts such as the 2003 Iraq war. Top-earning families have the money to buy their own education, medical care, personal security, and parks. They showed little interest in helping pay for such things for the rest of society, and have the political influence to make sure they don't have to. The relatively few children of the wealthy who joined the military may have reduced their concern about going to war.[169]

Milanovic argued that globalization and immigration caused US middle-class wages to stagnate, fueling the rise of populist political candidates.[170] Piketty attributed the victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, to "the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United States over several decades and the inability of successive governments to deal with this."[171]


After rising for a century, average life expectancy in the U.S. is now declining. And for those in the bottom 90% of the income distribution, real (inflation-adjusted) wages have stagnated: the income of a typical male worker today is around where it was 40 years ago.

Joseph Stiglitz[172]

Using statistics from 23 developed countries and the 50 states of the US, British researchers Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett found a correlation that remains after accounting for ethnicity,[173] national culture[174] and occupational classes or education levels.[175] Their findings place the United States as the most unequal and ranks poorly on social and health problems among developed countries.[176] The authors argue inequality creates psychosocial stress and status anxiety that lead to social ills.[177]

A 2009 study attributed one in three deaths in the United States to high levels of inequality.[178] According to The Earth Institute, life satisfaction in the US has been declining over several decades, which they attributed to increasing inequality, lack of social trust and loss of faith in government.[179]

A 2015 study by Angus Deaton and Anne Case found that income inequality could be a driving factor in a marked increase in deaths among white males between the ages of 45 to 54 in the period 1999 to 2013.[180][181] So-called "deaths of despair", including suicide and drug/alcohol related deaths, which have been pushing down life expectancy since 2014, reached record levels in 2017. Some researchers assert that income inequality, a shrinking middle class, the weakening labor union influence and stagnant wages have been significant factors in this development.[182] In their 2020 book Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism, Case and Deaton put forth the argument that in the United States, globalization and technological advancement dramatically shifted political power away from labor and towards capital by empowering corporations and weakening labor unions much more so than in peer countries such as those of Western Europe. As such, other rich countries, while facing their own challenges associated with globalization and technological change, did not experience a "long-term stagnation of wages, nor an epidemic of deaths of despair."[183]

According to the Health Inequality Project, the wealthiest American men live 15 years longer than the poorest. For American women the life expectancy gap is 10 years.[184]

Political extremism and violence

A 2020 paper published in Science Advances posits that there is a correlation between economic inequality, poor economic conditions and increased rates of political violence and right-wing extremism.[4] A 2019 study of mass shootings published in BMC Public Health found that communities with rising levels of income inequality are at an increased risk of mass shootings.[185]

Financing of social programs

Krugman argues that the long-term funding problems of Social Security and Medicare can be blamed in part on the growth in inequality as well as changes such as longer life expectancy. The source of funding for these programs is payroll taxes, which are traditionally levied as a percent of salary up to a cap. Payroll taxes do not capture income from capital or income above the cap. Higher inequality thereby reduces the taxable pool.[186]

Had inequality remained stable, increased payments would have covered about 43% of the projected Social Security shortfall over the next 75 years.[187]


Classical liberal economists such as Friedrich Hayek maintained that because individuals are diverse and different, state intervention to redistribute income is inevitably arbitrary and incompatible with the rule of law, and that "what is called 'social' or distributive' justice is indeed meaningless within a spontaneous order". Those who would use the state to redistribute, "take freedom for granted and ignore the preconditions necessary for its survival".[188][189]

Public attitudes

Americans are not generally aware of the extent of inequality or recent trends.[190] In 1998 a Gallup poll found 52% of Americans agreeing that the gap between rich and the poor was a problem that needed to be fixed, while 45% regarded it as "an acceptable part of the economic system".

A December 2011 Gallup poll found a decline in the number of Americans who rated reducing the gap in income and wealth between the rich and the poor as extremely or very important (21 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents, and 72 percent of Democrats).[191] Only 45% see the gap as in need of fixing, while 52% do not. However, there was a large difference between Democrats and Republicans, with 71% of Democrats calling for a fix.[191]

In 2012, surveys found the issue ranked below issues such as growth and equality of opportunity, and ranked relatively low in affecting voters "personally".[192]

A January 2014 poll found 61% of Republicans, 68% of Democrats and 67% of independents accept that income inequality in the US had grown over the last decade.[193] The poll indicated that 69% of Americans supported the government doing "a lot" or "some" to address income inequality and that 73% of Americans supported raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour.[194]

Surveys found that Americans matched citizens of other nations about what equality was acceptable, but more accepting of what they thought the level was.[195] Dan Ariely and Michael Norton found in a 2011 study that US citizens significantly underestimated wealth inequality.[196]

States and cities

This Gini Index map shows regional and county level variation in pre-tax income inequality Gini index. The 2010 Gini index value range from 20.7 for Loving County (Texas) to 64.5 to East Carroll Parish (Louisiana).[197]

The US household income Gini of 46.8 in 2009[198] varied significantly between states: after-tax income inequality in 2009 was greatest in Texas and lowest in Maine.[199] Income inequality grew from 2005 to 2012 in more than 2 out of 3 metropolitan areas.[200]

The states of Utah, Alaska and Wyoming have a market income Gini coefficient that is 10% lower than the average, while Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico are 10% higher.

After-tax, the Federal Reserve estimated that 34 states in the US have a Gini index between 30 and 35, with Maine the lowest.[199]

At the county and municipality levels, the 2010 market income Gini index ranged from 21 to 65, according to Census Bureau estimates.[197]

International comparisons

Income gini coefficient map according to the World Bank (2018).[201] Higher Income Gini Index for a nation in this map implies more income inequality among its people.

The United States has the highest level of income inequality in the Western world, according to a 2018 study by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. The United States has forty million people living in poverty, and more than half of these people live in "extreme" or "absolute" poverty. Income inequality has increased in recent decades, and large tax cuts that disproportionately favor the very wealthy are predicted to further increase U.S. income inequality.[1]

Actual income inequality and public views about the need to address the issue are directly related in most developed countries, but not in the US, where income inequality is larger but the concern is lower.[202] Excluding retirees, US market income inequality is comparatively high (rather than moderate) and the level of redistribution is moderate (not low). These comparisons indicate Americans shift from reliance on market income to reliance on income transfers later in life, although less fully than in other developed countries.[17][203]

International comparisons vary. In 2019 the CIA ranked the US 39th-worst among 157 countries measured by Gini.[204] While inequality increased after 1981 in two-thirds of OECD countries,[205] most are in the more equal end of the spectrum. The European Union measured 30.8.[204]

The US Gini rating (after taxes and transfers[206]) puts it among those of less developed countries. The US is more unequal or on par with countries such as Mozambique, Peru, Cameroon, Guyana and Thailand.[204]

Across Europe the ratio of post-tax income of the top 10% to that of the bottom 50% changed only slightly between the mid-1990s and 2019.[29]

Comparative data are available from databases such as the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) or the OECD Income Distribution database (OECD IDD), or, when including developing countries, from the World Bank's Povcalnet database, or the World Income Inequality Database (WIID),[207] maintained by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), or the World Inequality Database (WID).[208]

Reasons for relative performance

Share of income of the top 1% for selected developed countries, 1975 to 2015

One 2013 study indicated that US market income inequality was comparable to other developed countries, but was the highest among 22 developed countries after taxes and transfers. This implies that public policy choices, rather than market factors, drive U.S. income inequality disparities relative to other developed nations.[209][210]

Inequality may be higher than official statistics indicate in some countries because of unreported income. Europeans hold higher amounts of wealth offshore than Americans.[211][212][213]

Leonhardt and Quealy in 2014 described three key reasons for other industrialized countries improving real median income relative to the US over the 2000-2010 period. In the US:[214]

  • educational attainment has risen more slowly;
  • companies pay relatively lower wages to the middle class and poor, with top executives making relatively more;
  • government redistributes less from rich to poor.

As of 2012 the U.S. had the weakest social safety net among developed nations.[215][216]


In 2014 Canadian middle class incomes moved higher than those in the US and in some European nations citizens received higher raises than their American counterparts.[214] As of that year only the wealthy had seen pay increases since the Great Recession, while average American workers had not.[217]

Policy responses

Debate continues over whether a public policy response is appropriate to income inequality. For example, Federal Reserve Economist Thomas Garrett wrote in 2010: "It is important to understand that income inequality is a byproduct of a well-functioning capitalist economy. Individuals' earnings are directly related to their productivity ... A wary eye should be cast on policies that aim to shrink the income distribution by redistributing income from the more productive to the less productive simply for the sake of 'fairness.'"[218] Alternatively, bipartisan political majorities have supported redistributive policies such as the EITC.

Economists have proposed various approaches to reducing income inequality. For example, then Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen described four "building blocks" in a 2014 speech. These included expanding resources available to children, affordable higher education, business ownership and inheritance.[145] That year, the Center for American Progress recommended tax reform, further subsidizing healthcare and higher education and strengthening unions as appropriate responses.[99]

Improved infrastructure could address both the causes and the effects of inequality. E.g., workers with limited mobility could use improved mass transit to reach higher-paying jobs further from home and to access beneficial services at lower cost.[219]

Public policy responses addressing effects of income inequality include: tax incidence adjustments and strengthening social safety net provisions such as welfare, food stamps, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Proposals that address the causes of inequality include education reform and limiting/taxing rent-seeking.[219] Other reforms include raising the minimum wage, tax reform,[220] and increased stock ownership at lower income levels via a deferred investment program.[221]


Children from higher-income families often attend higher-quality private schools or are home-schooled. Better teachers raise the educational attainment and future earnings of students, but they tend to prefer school districts that educate higher income children.[145]

Parenting assistance

Economist Richard V. Reeves and other researchers point out the "parenting gap" between high-income and low-income families. High-income families tend to have resources to pay for assistance like child care and tutors, and having had economically successful ancestors have culturally inherited the skills needed to raise economically successful children. Based on studies of economic outcomes, Reeves recommends, and many governments fund, home visiting programs which assist parents in raising healthy children who succeed in school and are later able to obtain better-paying jobs.[222]


The distributional impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) during 2014. The ACA raised taxes mainly on the top 1% to fund approximately $600 in benefits on average for the bottom 40% of families.

Increasing public funding for services such as healthcare can reduce after-tax inequality. The Affordable Care Act reduced income inequality for calendar year 2014:[43]

  • "households in the lowest and second quintiles [the bottom 40%] received an average of an additional $690 and $560 respectively, because of the ACA ..."
  • "Most of the burden of the ACA fell on households in the top 1% of the income distribution, and relatively little fell on the remainder of households in that quintile. Households in the top 1% paid an additional $21,000, primarily because of the net investment income tax and the additional Medicare tax."

Public welfare and infrastructure spending

OECD asserted that public spending is vital in reducing the wealth gap.[223] Lane Kenworthy advocates incremental reforms in the direction of the Nordic social democratic model, claiming that this would increase economic security and opportunity.[224]

Eliminating social safety nets can discourage entrepreneurs by exacerbating the consequences of business failure from a temporary setback to financial ruin.[225][226]


Total effective tax rates (includes all taxes: federal+state income tax, sales tax, property tax, etc) for the richest Americans declined by 2018 to a level beneath that of the bottom 50% of earners,[227] contributing to net income inequality. Analysis by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.
Based on CBO Estimates,[228] under 2013 tax law the top 1% will be paying a higher effective tax rate, while other income groups will remain essentially unchanged.[229]
CBO chart illustrating the percent reduction in income inequality due to Federal taxes and income transfers from 1979 to 2011[16]
Proposed tax plan payment rates by income group as a percentage of income, including mandatory health insurance, of four 2020 United States presidential election candidates

Income taxes provide one mechanism for addressing after-tax inequality. Increasing the effective progressivity of income taxes reduces the gap between higher and lower incomes. However, taxes paid may not reflect statutory rates because (legal) tax avoidance strategies can offset higher rates.

PIketty called for a 90% wealth tax to address the situation.[29]

Tax expenditures

CBO charts describing amount and distribution of top 10 tax expenditures (i.e., exemptions, deductions, and preferential rates)

Tax expenditures (i.e., exclusions, deductions, preferential tax rates, and tax credits) affect the after-tax income distribution. The benefits from tax expenditures, such as income exclusions for employer-based healthcare insurance premiums and deductions for mortgage interest, are distributed unevenly across the income spectrum.

As of 2019, the US Treasury listed 165 federal income tax expenditures. The largest as employer health insurance deductions, followed by net imputed rental income, capital gains (except agriculture, timber, iron ore, and coal) and defined contribution employer pension plans.[230]

Understanding how each tax expenditure is distributed across the income spectrum can inform policy choices.[231]

A 2019 study by the economists Saez and Zucman found the effective total tax rate (including state and local taxes, and government fees) for the bottom 50% of U.S. households was 24.2% in 2018, whereas for the wealthiest 400 households it was 23%.[232]

Corporate taxes

Economist Dean Baker argued that corporate income tax policies have multiple effects. Increased corporate profits increase inequality by distributing dividends (mostly to higher income people). Taxing profits reduces this effect, but it also may reduce investment reducing employment. It also encourages payers to (often successfully) lobby for increased tax expenditures, which offsets the inequality reduction and also pushes corporations to adjust their behavior to exploit them. Professional lobbying and accounting firms that generally pay well get more business, at the expense of other workers.[233][234][235]

Minimum wages

The Economist states that as inequality rises, political will to help low-paid workers increases, and minimum wages may not be as bad as some believe.[236]

In a blog post on the Economic Policy Institute's site, they say that raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would decrease income inequality.[237]

Basic income

A public basic income provides each individual with a fixed sum from the government, without consideration of factors such as age, employment, wealth, education, etc. People who support basic income as a way to reduce income inequality include the Green Party.[238]

Economic democracy

Economic democracy is a socioeconomic philosophy that proposes to shift decision-making power from corporations to a larger group of public stakeholders that includes workers, customers, suppliers, neighbours and the broader public.

Economists Richard D. Wolff and Gar Alperovitz claim that such policies would improve equality.[239][240][241]

Monetary policy

Monetary policy is responsible for balancing inflation and unemployment. It can be used to stimulate the economy (e.g., by lowering interest rates, which encourages borrowing and spending, additional job creation, and inflationary pressure); or tighten it, with the opposite effects. Former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke wrote in 2015 that monetary policy affects income and wealth inequality in multiple ways, but that responsibility lies primarily in other areas:[242]

  • Stimulus reduces inequality by creating or preserving jobs, which mainly helps the middle and lower classes who derive more of their income from labor than the wealthy.
  • Stimulus inflates the prices of financial assets (owned mainly by the wealthy), but also employment, housing and the value of small businesses (owned more widely).
  • Stimulus increases inflation and/or lowers interest rates, which helps debtors (mainly the middle and lower classes) while hurting creditors (mainly the wealthy), because they are paid back with cheaper dollars or reduced interest.


U.S. family pre-tax income and net worth distribution for 2013 and 2016, from the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances[243]

Various methods measure income inequality. Different sources prefer Gini coefficients or ratio of percentiles, etc. Census Bureau studies on household[244] and individual income[245] show lower levels[246] than some other sources,[247] but do not break out the highest-income households (99%+) where most change has occurred.[127][27]: 6–7 [248][249]

One review describes six possible techniques for estimating American real median income growth. Estimates for the 1979-2014 period ranged from a decline of 8% (Piketty and Saez 2003) to an increase of 51% (CBO).[29]

Two commonly cited estimates are the CBO and Emmanuel Saez. These differ in their sources and methods. Using IRS data for 2011 Saez claimed that the share of "market income less transfers" received by the top 1% was about 19.5%.[40] The CBO uses both IRS data and Census data in its computations and reported a lower "pre-tax" figure for the top 1% of 14.6%.[16]

Census Bureau data

U.S. median family income from 2001 to 2016 (real, measured in 2016 dollars), with comparative statistics, from the Fed Survey of Consumer Finances. The top decile and bottom quintile had real increases in income comparing 2001 and 2016, while the 20th to 80th percentiles has decreases. For all families, the median was $54,100 in 2001 and $52,700 in 2016, a slight decline. Note this differs from real median household income, which hit a record level in 2016.[250]

The Census Bureau ranks all households by household income based on its surveys and then divides them into quintiles. The highest-ranked household in each quintile provides the upper income limit for that quintile.[251] Census data reflects market income without adjustments, and is not amenable to adjustment for taxes and transfers. Because census data does not measure changes in individual households, it is not suitable for studying income mobility.[252]

A major gap in the measurement of income inequality is the exclusion of capital gains, profits made on increases in the value of investments. Capital gains are excluded for purely practical reasons. The Census doesn't ask about them, so they can't be included in inequality statistics. Obviously, the rich earn much more from investments than the poor. As a result, real levels of income inequality in America are much higher than the official Census Bureau figures would suggest.

Gary Burtless noted that for this reason census data overstated the income losses that middle-income families suffered in the Great Recession.[254]

Internal Revenue Service data

Saez and Piketty pioneered the use of IRS data for the analysis of income distribution in 1998.

GDP distribution

Private sector workers earnings compared to GDP
Private sector workers made ~$2 trillion or about 29.6% of all money earned in Q3 2023 (before taxes)
  Quarterly GDP not Annualized
  Private Sector Workers Total Earnings

Another approach attempts to allocate GDP to individuals, to compensate for the 40% of GDP that does not appear on tax returns. One source of the disagreement is the growth of tax-free retirement accounts, such as pension funds, IRAs and 401Ks. Another source is tax evasion, whose distribution is also disputed.[29]

Income measures: pre-and post-tax

Inequality can be measured before and after the effects of taxes and transfer payments such as social security and unemployment insurance.[255][256]

Measuring inequality after accounting for taxes and transfers reduces observed inequality, because both the income tax system and transfer systems are designed to do so. The impacts of those polieices varies as the policy regime changes. CBO reported in 2011 that: "The equalizing effect of transfers declined over the 1979–2007 period primarily because the distribution of transfers became less progressive. The equalizing effect of federal taxes also declined over the period, in part because the amount of federal taxes shrank as a share of market income and in part because of changes in the progressivity of the federal tax system."[32]

CBO income statistics show the growing importance of these items. In 1980, in-kind benefits and employer and government spending on health insurance accounted for just 6% of the after-tax incomes of households in the middle one-fifth of the distribution. By 2010 these in-kind income sources represented 17% of middle class households' after-tax income. Post-tax income items are increasing faster than pre-tax items. As a result of these programs, the spendable incomes of poor and middle-class families have been better insulated against recession-driven losses than the incomes of Americans in the top 1%. Incomes in the middle and at the bottom of the distribution have fared better since 2000 than incomes at the very top.[254]

Continuing increases in transfers, e.g., resulting from the Affordable Care Act, reduced inequality, while tax changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 had the opposite effect.

CBO, incorporates capital gains.[257]

Demographic issues

Comparisons of household income over time should control for changes in average age, family size, number of breadwinners, and other characteristics. Measuring personal income ignores dependent children, but household income also has problems – a household of ten has a lower standard of living than one of two people, though their incomes may be the same.[258] People's earnings tend to rise over their working lifetimes, so point-in-time estimates can be misleading. (A world in which each person received a lifetime of income on their 21st birthday and no income thereafter would have an extremely high Gini, even if everyone received the exact same amount. Real-world incomes also tend to be spiky, although not to that extreme.)[259] Some 11% of households eventually appear in the 1% at some point.[29] The inequality of a recent college graduate and a 55-year-old at the peak of his/her career is not an issue if the graduate has the same career path.

Conservative researchers and organizations have focused on the flaws of household income as a measure for standard of living in order to refute claims that income inequality is growing, is excessive or poses a problem.[260]

According to a 2004 analysis of income quintile data by The Heritage Foundation, inequality is less after adjusting for household size. Aggregate share of income held by the upper quintile (the top earning 20 percent) decreases by 20.3% when figures are adjusted to reflect household size.[261]

However the Pew Research Center found household income declined less than individual income in the twenty-first century, because those no longer able to afford separate housing moved in with relatives, creating larger households with more earners.[262] A 2011 CBO study adjusted for household size so that its quintiles contain an equal number of people, not an equal number of households.[27]: 2  CBO found income distribution over a multi-year period "modestly" more equal than annual income,[27]: 4  confirming earlier studies.[263]

According to Noah, adjusting for demographic factors such as increasing age and smaller households, indicates that income inequality is less extreme but growing faster than without the adjustment.[141]

Gini index

The Gini coefficient was developed by Italian statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini and published in his 1912 paper Variability and Mutability (Italian: Variabilità e mutabilità).[264]

Gini ratings can be used to compare inequality (by race, gender, employment) within and between jurisdictions, using a variety of income measures and data sources, with differing results.[265][266][267][268] For example, the Census Bureau's official market Gini for the US was 47.6 in 2013, up from 45.4 in 1993.[269] By contrast, OECD's US adjusted compensation Gini was 37 in 2012.[253]

Other indicators of inequality

Income, however measured, is only one indicator of equality. Others include equality of opportunity, consumption and wealth.


Economist Thomas Sowell, and former Congressman and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan[270] argued that more important than equality of results is equality of opportunity. This measures the degree to which individuals have the chance to succeed, despite their original circumstances.


Other researchers argued that income is less important than consumption. Two individuals (or other units) who consume the same amount have similar outcomes despite differences in their incomes. Consumption inequality is also less extreme. Will Wilkinson wrote, "the run-up in consumption inequality has been considerably less dramatic than the rise in income inequality".[271] According to Johnson, Smeeding and Tory, consumption inequality was lower in 2001 than in 1986.[272][259][273] Other studies have not found consumption inequality less dramatic than household income inequality.[141][274] A CBO study found consumption data not capturing consumption by high-income households as well as it does their incomes,[275][clarification needed] though it found that household consumption numbers are less unequal than household income.[27]: 5 

Others dispute the importance of consumption, pointing out that if middle and lower incomes are consuming more than they earn, it is because they are saving less or going deeper into debt.[103] Alternatively, higher income persons may be consuming less than their income, saving/investing the balance.


Net personal wealth in the U.S. since 1962
The average personal wealth of people in the top 1% is more than a thousand times that of people in bottom 50%.[276]
The logarithmic scale shows how wealth has increased for all percentile groups, though moreso for wealthier people.[276]

Wealth inequality refers to the distribution of net worth (i.e., what is owned minus what is owed) as opposed to annual income. Wealth is affected by movements in the prices of assets, such as stocks, bonds and real estate, which fluctuate over the short-term. Income inequality has significant effects over long-term shifts in wealth inequality. Wealth inequality is increasing:

  • The top .1% owned approximately 22% of the wealth in 2012, versus 7% in 1978. The top 1% share of wealth was at or below 10% from 1950 to 1987.[81][169] A conflicting estimate found that they held some 15%.[29]
  • The top 400 Americans had net worth of $2 trillion in 2013, more than the bottom 50%. Their average net worth was $5 billion.[277]
  • The lower 50% of households held 3% of the wealth in 1989 and 1% in 2013. Their average net worth in 2013 was approximately $11,000.[278]
  • The threshold for the wealthiest 1% was approximately $8.4 million measured for the 2008–2010 period. Nearly half the top 1% by income were also in the top 1% by wealth.[279] In 2010, the wealthiest 5% of households owned approximately 72% of financial wealth, while the bottom 80% of households had 5%.[280]
  • The top 1% controlled 38.6% of the country's wealth in 2016.[281]

Much of the wealth gain came to those in the top 1%. Those between the top 1 percent and top 5 percent controlled a smaller percent of wealth than before.[39][282][clarification needed]

Education and family structure

Ivy-Plus university admissions rates vary with the income of the students' parents, with the acceptance rate of the top 0.1% income percentile being almost twice as much as other students.[283]
A 1916 ad for a vocational school appealed to Americans' belief in the possibility of self-betterment, as well as threatening economic insecurity through lack of education.

Another form of inequality is the different level and quality of education available to students. School quality and educational results vary dramatically, depending on whether a student has access to a private or charter school or an effective public school. Many students have no choice but to attend dysfunctional public schools, where fewer achieve grade level performance.[284]

Pundit David Brooks[285] argued that in the 1970s, high school and college graduates had "very similar family structures", while later high school grads were much less likely to get married, and much more likely to smoke, be obese, get divorced, and/or become a single parent.[286] "The zooming wealth of the top one percent is a problem, but it's not nearly as big a problem as the tens of millions of Americans who have dropped out of high school or college. It's not nearly as big a problem as the 40 percent of children who are born out of wedlock. It's not nearly as big a problem as the nation's stagnant human capital, its stagnant social mobility and the disorganized social fabric for the bottom 50 percent."[286][287]

Hollowing out of the Middle Class

Hollowing out of the middle class refers to its loss in income share beginning with Reaganomics.[288][289][290] The middle class is defined as the middle 20% of the income distribution, i.e. those between the 40th and 60th percentile. In 1980 the middle class earned 17% of total income in the United States.[291][292][293] However, by 2019 its share decreased to 14%, a drop of 3%. Another way to see this is that in 1980 the share of the middle class was the same as that of the top 5% but by 2019 the top 5% was 9 percentage points ahead of the middle class.[294][295]

Opinions of notable individuals

Although some spoke out in favor of moderate inequality as a form of incentive,[296][297] others warned against excessive levels of inequality, including Robert J. Shiller, (who called rising economic inequality "the most important problem that we are facing now today"),[298] former Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan, ("This is not the type of thing which a democratic society – a capitalist democratic society – can really accept without addressing"),[125] and President Barack Obama (who referred to the widening income gap as the "defining challenge of our time").[299]

United Nations special rapporteur Philip Alston, following a fact finding mission to the United States in December 2017, said in his report that "the United States already leads the developed world in income and wealth inequality, and it is now moving full steam ahead to make itself even more unequal."[300][301]

Alan Krueger summarized research studies in 2012, stating that as income inequality increases:[3]

  • Income shifts to the wealthy, who tend to consume less of each marginal dollar, slowing consumption and therefore economic growth;
  • Income mobility falls: parents' income better predicts their children's income;
  • Middle and lower-income families borrow more to maintain their consumption, a contributing factor to financial crises; and
  • The wealthy gain more political power, which results in policies that further slow economic growth.

Many economists claim that America's growing income inequality is "deeply worrying",[125] unjust,[65] a danger to democracy/social stability,[148][146][147] or a sign of national decline.[163] Nobelist Robert Shiller after receiving the award stated, "The most important problem that we are facing now today, I think, is rising inequality in the United States and elsewhere in the world."[302] Piketty warned, "The egalitarian pioneer ideal has faded into oblivion, and the New World may be on the verge of becoming the Old Europe of the twenty-first century's globalized economy."[303] Angus Deaton asserts that the prevailing orthodoxy which promotes the idea of unfettered free markets and limited government intervention helped to establish a predatory capitalist system in the US that enriches corporations and the wealthy at the expense of the working class.[304]

Others claim that the increase is not significant,[305] that America's economic growth and/or equality of opportunity should be the primary focus,[306] that rising inequaity is a global phenomenon that would be foolish to try to change through US domestic policy,[307] that it "has many economic benefits and is the result of ... a well-functioning economy",[218] and has or may become an excuse for "class-warfare rhetoric".[305] They argue against "redistribution of wealth", instead advocating for "sound economic policy to reduce poverty [which] would lift people out of poverty (increase their productivity) while not reducing the well-being of wealthier individuals".[218]

See also


  1. ^ a b United Press International (UPI), June 22, 2018, "U.N. Report: With 40M in Poverty, U.S. Most Unequal Developed Nation"
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "The Distribution of Household Income, 2016". Congressional Budget Office. July 2019. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Krueger, Alan (January 12, 2012). "Chairman Alan Krueger Discusses the Rise and Consequences of Inequality at the Center for American Progress". – via National Archives.
  4. ^ a b c Stewart, Alexander J.; McCarty, Nolan; Bryson, Joanna J. (2020). "Polarization under rising inequality and economic decline". Science Advances. 6 (50): eabd4201. arXiv:1807.11477. Bibcode:2020SciA....6.4201S. doi:10.1126/sciadv.abd4201. PMC 7732181. PMID 33310855. S2CID 216144890.
  5. ^ a b c Porter, Eduardo (November 12, 2013). "Rethinking the Rise of Inequality". NYT.
  6. ^ "Why the gap between worker pay and productivity might be a myth". July 23, 2015.
  7. ^ Rose, Stephen J. (December 2018). "Measuring Income Inequality in the US: Methodological Issues" (PDF). Urban Institute. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d "Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States" (PDF). NBER. December 1, 2018. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  9. ^ Taylor, Telford (September 26, 2019). "Income inequality in America is the highest it's been since census started tracking it, data shows". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  10. ^ Semega, Jessica; Kollar, Melissa (September 13, 2022). "2021 Income Inequality Increased for First Time Since 2011". Retrieved May 2, 2023.
  11. ^ "The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2010". The US Congressional Budget Office (CBO). December 4, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Sargent, Greg (December 9, 2019). "The massive triumph of the rich, illustrated by stunning new data". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 9, 2019. — Original data and analysis: Zucman, Gabriel and Saez, Emmanuel, The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay, W. W. Norton & Company. October 15, 2019.
  13. ^ Schiller, Bradley R.; Gebhardt, Karen (April 22, 2015). The Economy Today (9 ed.). McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN 9780078021862.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Projected Changes in the Distribution of Household Income, 2016 to 2021" (PDF). CBO. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d "Distributional National Accounts". June 27, 2016. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  16. ^ a b c d "The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes 2011". Congressional Budget Office, US Government. November 2014.
  17. ^ a b Cassidy, John (November 18, 2013). "American Inequality in Six Charts". The New Yorker.
  18. ^ Elkins, Kathleen (September 28, 2019). "29% of Americans are considered 'lower class'—here's how much money they earn". CNBC. Retrieved December 6, 2019. More recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau finds that the gap between the rich and the poor has grown since 2016 and hit a new record in 2018.
  19. ^ a b Semuels, Alana (April 25, 2016). "The Founding Fathers Weren't Concerned With Inequality". The Atlantic. Retrieved September 28, 2023.
  20. ^ a b c d e "USA – The Chartbook of Economic Inequality". Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  21. ^ Bartles, L. M. (February 2004). "Partisan Politics and the U.S. Income Distribution. Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 27, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2007.
  22. ^ a b c d e Krugman, Paul (2007). The Conscience of a Liberal. W.W. Norton Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-06069-0.
  23. ^ Greenberg, Scott (August 4, 2017). "Taxes on the Rich Were Not That Much Higher in the 1950s". Tax Foundation. Retrieved December 7, 2019.
  24. ^ Geloso, Vincent J; Magness, Phillip; Moore, John; Schlosser, Philip (March 8, 2022). "How pronounced is the U-curve? Revisiting income inequality in the United States, 1917-1960". The Economic Journal. 132 (647): 2366–2391. doi:10.1093/ej/ueac020. ISSN 0013-0133.
  25. ^ Smeeding, Timothy M. (December 2005). "Public Policy, Economic Inequality, and Poverty: The United States in Comparative Perspective". Social Science Quarterly. 86 (s1): 955–983. doi:10.1111/j.0038-4941.2005.00331.x. ISSN 0038-4941.
  26. ^ Noah, Timothy (September 16, 2010). "The United States of Inequality". Slate. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g "Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007". October 25, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  28. ^ Piketty, Thomas; Saez, Emmanuel (August 2006). "How Progressive is the U.S. Federal Tax System? A Historical and International Perspective". National Bureau of Economic Research. Cambridge, MA. doi:10.3386/w12404.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Economists are rethinking the numbers on inequality". The Economist. November 28, 2019. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  30. ^ "The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes 2007". Congressional Budget Office, US ;Government. October 2011.
  31. ^ Pear, Robert (October 25, 2011). "Top Earners Doubled Share of Nation's Income, C.B.O. Says". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  32. ^ a b "Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2008" (PDF). CBO. p. 20.
  33. ^ "CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978". Economic Policy Institute. August 14, 2019.
  34. ^ "Who exactly are the 1%". The Economist. January 21, 2012.
  35. ^ Johnston, D. (March 29, 2007). "Income Gap Is Widening, Data Shows. The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2007.
  36. ^ "The Distribution of Household Income, 2015 | Congressional Budget Office". November 8, 2018.
  37. ^ Desilver, Drew (December 5, 2013). "U.S. income inequality, on rise for decades, is now highest since 1928". Pew Research Center.
  38. ^ 2010 Business Cycle Dating Committee, September 2010. National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved on September 20, 2010 from
  39. ^ a b Saez, Emmanuel; Zucman, Gabriel (March 2014). "The Distribution of US Wealth, Capital Income and Returns since 1913" (PDF).
  40. ^ a b Saez, Emmanuel (September 3, 2013). "Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States" (PDF). University of California Berkeley. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  41. ^ Nicolaci da Costa, Pedro (June 13, 2017). "This eye-popping chart on inequality is a slap in the face of America's middle class". Business Insider. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  42. ^ Gold, Howard R. (May 23, 2017). "New data: Inequality runs even deeper than previously thought". Chicago Booth Review. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  43. ^ a b "The Distribution of Household Income, 2014". March 19, 2018. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  44. ^ Thompson, Derek (September 26, 2016). "Thanks, Obama". The Atlantic. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  45. ^ a b "Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2019 to 2022" (PDF). Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US). October 2023. p. 6 (Table 1). Archived (PDF) from the original on December 25, 2023.
  46. ^ "the Tax Bill that Inequality Created". Editorial. The New York Times. December 16, 2017.
  47. ^ Kirsch, Noah. "The 3 Richest Americans Hold More Wealth Than Bottom 50% Of The Country, Study Finds". Forbes.
  48. ^ Rogers, Taylor Nicole (October 9, 2019). "American billionaires paid less in taxes in 2018 than the working class, analysis shows — and it's another sign that one of the biggest problems in the US is only getting worse". Business Insider.
  49. ^ Ingraham, Christopher (October 8, 2019). "For the first time in history, U.S. billionaires paid a lower tax rate than the working class last year". Washington Post.
  50. ^ Schneider, Mike (September 26, 2019). "Income inequality grew again: The highest level in more than 50 years, Census Bureau says". USA Today. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  51. ^ Summers, Lawrence (January 18, 2015). "Focus on growth for the middle class". The Washington Post.
  52. ^ Marcellus, Sibile (December 3, 2020). "Wage inequality gets worse: Bottom 90% stuck in $30,000 range as top 0.1% take home way more than $1 million on average". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
  53. ^ Wilson, Scott. "For Young Americans, the "American Dream" Resonates Differently". “How the ‘American Dream’ Has Changed for Young Americans.” Close Up Foundation. Close Up Foundation. Retrieved May 10, 2024.
  54. ^ Leonhardt, David (July 7, 2023). "How Elba Makes a Living Wage". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 8, 2023.
  55. ^ a b Data from Chetty, Raj; Jackson, Matthew O.; Kuchler, Theresa; Stroebel, Johannes; et al. (August 1, 2022). "Social capital I: measurement and associations with economic mobility". Nature. 608 (7921): 108–121. Bibcode:2022Natur.608..108C. doi:10.1038/s41586-022-04996-4. PMC 9352590. PMID 35915342. Charted in Leonhardt, David (August 1, 2022). "'Friending Bias' / A large new study offers clues about how lower-income children can rise up the economic ladder". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 1, 2022.
  56. ^ Noah, Timothy (October 9, 2014). "The Great Divergence" (PDF). Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  57. ^ "The rich, the poor and the growing gap between them". The Economist. June 15, 2006. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  58. ^ Yellen, J. L. (November 6, 2006). "Speech to the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California, Irvine. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco". Retrieved June 20, 2007.
  59. ^ Western, Bruce; Rosenfeld, Jake (August 1, 2011). "Unions, Norms, and the Rise in U.S. Wage Inequality". American Sociological Review. 76 (4): 513–537. doi:10.1177/0003122411414817. ISSN 0003-1224. S2CID 18351034.
  60. ^ a b c Stiglitz, Joseph E. (2012). The price of inequality: how today's divided society endangers our future. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 9780393088694.
  61. ^ Stiglitz, Joseph; Greenwald, Bruce C. (2014). Creating a learning society: a new approach to growth, development, and social progress. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231152143.[permanent dead link]
  62. ^ Rosenfeld, Jake (2014). What Unions No Longer Do. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674725119.
  63. ^ Hiltzik, Michael (March 25, 2015). "IMF agrees: Decline of union power has increased income inequality". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  64. ^ Kristal, Tali; Cohen, Yinon (March 23, 2016). "The causes of rising wage inequality: the race between institutions and technology". Socio-Economic Review: mww006. doi:10.1093/ser/mww006. ISSN 1475-1461.
  65. ^ a b c d Krugman, Paul (October 20, 2002). "For Richer". The New York Times.
  66. ^ Roser, Max; Crespo-Cuaresma, Jesus (2014). "Why is Income Inequality Increasing in the Developed World?" (PDF). Review of Income and Wealth. 62: 1–27. doi:10.1111/roiw.12153. ISSN 1475-4991. S2CID 153341589.
  67. ^ Autor, David; Dorn, David; Katz, Lawrence F; Patterson, Christina; Van Reenen, John (May 1, 2020). "The Fall of the Labor Share and the Rise of Superstar Firms*". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 135 (2): 645–709. doi:10.1093/qje/qjaa004. ISSN 0033-5533.
  68. ^ "Stock Market Capitalization to GDP for United States". January 1975. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  69. ^ Murphy, Kevin J. (2002). "Explaining executive compensation: Managerial power versus the perceived cost of stock options". The University of Chicago Law Review. 69 (3): 847–869. doi:10.2307/1600633. JSTOR 1600633.
  70. ^ Meyerson, Harold (September 13, 2012). "If Labor Dies, What's Next?". The American Prospect. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  71. ^ estimate by economist George Borjas, quoted in Conscience of a Liberal, p. 34
  72. ^ Dewan, Shaila (February 11, 2014). "Wage Premium From College Is Said to Be Up". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  73. ^ Bruce A. Kimball; Sarah M. Iler (September 3, 2022). "How the richest university endowments exacerbate inequality". The Boston Globe.
  74. ^ Brill, Michael; Holman, Corey; Morris, Chris; Raichoudhary, Ronjoy; Yosif, Noah. "Understanding the labor productivity and compensation gap : Beyond the Numbers: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics". Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  75. ^ Stiglitz, Joseph (June 2012). "We've been brainwashed". Salon Magazine. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  76. ^ Haymes, Vidal de Haymes & Miller (2015), p. 7.
  77. ^ Dean, Jodi (2012). The Communist Horizon. Verso Books. p. 123. ISBN 978-1844679546. Pursued through policies of privatization, deregulation, and financialization, and buttressed by an ideology of private property, free markets, and free trade, neoliberalism has entailed cuts in taxes for the rich and cuts in protections and benefits for workers and the poor, resulting in an exponential increase in inequality.
  78. ^ Haymes, Vidal de Haymes & Miller (2015), pp. 1–2.
  79. ^ Jones, Parker & Bos (2005), p. 101; "Critics of neoliberalism have therefore looked at the evidence that documents the results of this great experiment of the past 30 years, in which many markets have been set free. Looking at the evidence, we can see that the total amount of global trade has increased significantly, but that global poverty has increased, with more today living in abject poverty than before neoliberalism."
  80. ^ Jason Hickel (February 13, 2019). An Open Letter to Steven Pinker (and Bill Gates). Jacobin. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  81. ^ a b Saez, Emmanuel. "Income and Wealth Inequality:Evidence and Policy Implications-October 2014" (PDF).
  82. ^ Anderson, Elizabeth (2023). Hijacked: How Neoliberalism Turned the Work Ethic against Workers and How Workers Can Take It Back. Cambridge University Press. p. xi. ISBN 978-1009275439.
  83. ^ "Neoliberalism: Oversold" (PDF). IMF FINANCE & DEVELOPMENT. June 2016.
  84. ^ Kotz, David M. (February 9, 2015). The Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674725652.
  85. ^ Hopkin, Jonathan (2020). "American Nightmare: How Neoliberalism Broke US Democracy". Anti-System Politics: The Crisis of Market Liberalism in Rich Democracies. Oxford University Press. pp. 87–88. doi:10.1093/oso/9780190699765.003.0004. ISBN 978-0190699765.
  86. ^ Baker, Dean. 2006. "Increasing Inequality in the United States." Post-autistic Economics Review 40.
  87. ^ Howell, David R. and Mamadou Diallo. 2007. "Charting U.S. Economic Performance with Alternative Labor Market Indicators: The Importance of Accounting for Job Quality." SCEPA Working Paper 2007-6.
  88. ^ Phelps, Edmund (July 24, 2014). "Corporatism, Not Capitalism Is To Blame For Inequality". Financial Times. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  89. ^ Duménil, Gérard; Lévy, Dominique (2004). Capital Resurgent: Roots of the Neoliberal Revolution. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674011589. The advent of economic neoliberalism in the 1980s triggered a shift in the world economy. In the three decades following World War II, now considered a golden age of capitalism, economic growth was high and income inequality decreasing. But in the mid-1970s this social compact was broken as the world economy entered the stagflation crisis, following a decline in the profitability of capital. This crisis opened a new phase of stagnating growth and wages, and unemployment. Interest rates as well as dividend flows rose, and income inequality widened.
  90. ^ Haymes, Stephen; Vidal de Haymes, Maria; Miller, Reuben (eds.). "The Routledge Handbook of Poverty in the United States: 1st Edition (Hardback) - Routledge". p. 7. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  91. ^ Berger, Chloe (March 18, 2024). "'We are essentially in a new Gilded Age': As workers get laid off, CEOs and shareholders gobble up hundreds of billions in profits". Fortune. Retrieved March 21, 2024.
  92. ^ Gilbert, Dennis (2002). American Class Structure in an Age of Growing Inequality. Wadsworth.
  93. ^ Parker, Kim; Fry, Richard. "More than half of U.S. households have some investment in the stock market". Pew Research Center. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  94. ^ Van Dam, Andrew (July 4, 2018). "Is it great to be a worker in the U.S.? Not compared with the rest of the developed world". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  95. ^ "Monetary policy and long-term trends". November 3, 2014.
  96. ^ Stiglitz, Joseph E. (January 19, 2013). "Inequality Is Holding Back the Recovery".
  97. ^ "You Can't Feed a Family With G.D.P." The New York Times. September 17, 2014.
  98. ^ Bernstein, Jared (September 9, 2013). "Why Labor's Share of Income Is Falling".
  99. ^ a b Erickson, Jennifer (September 24, 2014). "The Middle-Class Squeeze". name. Archived from the original on November 26, 2014.
  100. ^ Alesina, Alberto; Rodrick, Dani (May 1994). "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth". Quarterly Journal of Economics. 109 (2): 465–90. doi:10.2307/2118470. JSTOR 2118470.
  101. ^ V., Castells Quintana, David Royuela (2012). Unemployment and long-run economic growth: The role of income inequality and urbanisation. Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional. OCLC 823310816.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  102. ^ a b c Castells-Quintana, David; Royuela, Vicente (2012). "Unemployment and long-run economic growth: The role of income inequality and urbanisation" (PDF). Investigaciones Regionales. 12 (24): 153–73. hdl:10017/27066. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  103. ^ a b Noah, Timothy (September 16, 2010). "The United States of Inequality". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  104. ^ a b Krugman, Paul. "Inequality and crises: coincidence or causation?" (PDF).
  105. ^ Gross, William H. (October 2011). "Six Pac(k)in'". Pacific Investment Management Company LLC. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  106. ^ Noah, Timothy (October 3, 2011). "Wall Street Bolshies Watch". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  107. ^ Study covers years between 1950 and 2006. Berg, Andrew G.; Ostry, Jonathan D. (2011). "Equality and Efficiency". Finance and Development. 48 (3). International Monetary Fund. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  108. ^ a b "Widening income gap is hurting the economy, survey says". NBC News. December 18, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  109. ^ a b Boak, Josh (August 5, 2014). "HuffPost - Breaking News, U.S. and World News". Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  110. ^ Alperovitz, Gar (January 26, 2014). "The Real News Network | Independent, Fact-Based Journalism". The Real News Network. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  111. ^ Reich, Robert (February 8, 2014). "The War on the Poor and Middle-Class Families". Truthdig. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  112. ^ Stiglitz, Joseph (July 2, 2012). "Stiglitz: the full transcript". The Independent (Interview). Interviewed by Ben Chu. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  113. ^ Dynan, Karen; Skinner, Jonathan; Zeldes, Stephen (September 2000). "Do the Rich Save More?". Journal of Political Economy. 112 (2). Cambridge, MA: 397–444. doi:10.3386/w7906.
  114. ^ "Finance and Development". Finance and Development. September 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  115. ^ Gordon, Robert (August 2012). "Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds" (PDF). National Bureau of Economic Research. Cambridge, MA: w18315. doi:10.3386/w18315.
  116. ^ Epstein, Richard A. (November 8, 2011). "Three Cheers for Income Inequality". Hoover Institution. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  117. ^ a b Price, Carter; Edwards, Kathryn (September 2020). Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018 (PDF). RAND Corporation. doi:10.7249/wra516-1. S2CID 224943152.
  118. ^ Picchi, Aimee (September 14, 2020). "The price of inequality? Lost annual income of $42,000 for typical worker, study finds". CBS News. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  119. ^ "Louis K. Liggett Co. v. Lee : 288 U.S. 517 (1933) :: Justia U.S. Supreme Court Center". Justia Law.
  120. ^ Lo, Andrew W. (2012). "Reading About the Financial Crisis: A 21-Book Review" (PDF). Journal of Economic Literature . Archived from the original (PDF) on January 13, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  121. ^ Koehn, Nancy F. (July 31, 2010). "A Call to Fix the Fundamentals (Review of Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy by Raghuram G. Rajan)". The New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  122. ^ a b Pigou, Arthur C. (1932). "Part I, Chapter VIII". The Economics of Welfare (4th ed.). London: Macmillan and Co. ISBN 9781137375636. Archived from the original on August 3, 2020. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  123. ^ a b Lynn, Barry C.; Longman, Phillip (March–April 2010). "Who Broke America's Jobs Machine?". Washington Monthly. March/April 2010. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  124. ^ a b Kopczuk, Wojciech; Saez, Emmanuel; Song, Jae (September 15, 2007). "Uncovering the American Dream:Inequality and Mobility in Social Security Earnings Data since 1937 Figure 4B" (PDF).
  125. ^ a b c Noah, Timothy (January 13, 2012). "White House: Here's Why You Have To Care About Inequality". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  126. ^ Panousi, Vasia; Vidangos, Ivan; Ramnath, Shanti; DeBacker, Jason; Heim, Bradley (Spring 2013). "Inequality Rising and Permanent Over Past Two Decades". Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. Brookings Institution. Archived from the original on April 8, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  127. ^ a b c Krugman, Paul (December 19, 2001). "The Rich, the Right, and the Facts: Deconstructing the Income Distribution Debate". The American Prospect. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  128. ^ "The Distribution of Household Income, 2015 | Congressional Budget Office". November 8, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  129. ^ a b DeParle, Jason (January 4, 2012). "Harder for Americans to Rise From Lower Rungs". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  130. ^ a b Corak, Miles (January 12, 2012). "Here is the source for the "Great Gatsby Curve" in the Alan Krueger speech at the Center for American Progress on January 12 - Economics for public policy". Economics for public policy.
  131. ^ Bernstein, Jared (January 13, 2014). "Poverty and Inequality, in Charts".
  132. ^ Bruenig, Matt (January 17, 2014). "We Would Have Eliminated Poverty Entirely by Now if Inequality Hadn't Skyrocketed". Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  133. ^ "Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018". Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  134. ^ Goldfarb, Zachary A. (December 9, 2013). "Study: U.S. poverty rate decreased over past half-century thanks to safety-net programs". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  135. ^ Rakesh Kochhar (July 22, 2015). "What it means to be poor by global standards". Pew Research Center.
  136. ^ "2021 Poverty Guidelines". Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  137. ^ "Poverty Rate by Country 2023". World Population Review. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  138. ^ "Fact Sheet: An Adjustment to Global Poverty Lines". World Bank. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  139. ^ "Country Profile: United States". World Bank. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  140. ^ Cingano, Federico (2014). "Trends in Income Inequality and its Impact on Economic Growth". OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers. doi:10.1787/5jxrjncwxv6j-en.
  141. ^ a b c d Noah, Timothy (October 25, 2012). "Conservative Inequality Denialism". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  142. ^ Alpert, Daniel; Hockett, Robert; Roubini, Nouriel (October 10, 2011). "The Way Forward". Archived from the original on July 11, 2012.
  143. ^ Plumer, Brad (March 27, 2013). "'Trickle-down consumption': How rising inequality can leave everyone worse off". Washington Post. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  144. ^ "Student Loans Owned and Securitized". FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. January 1, 2006.
  145. ^ a b c Yellen, Janet. "Perspectives on Inequality and Opportunity from the Survey of Consumer Finances". Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  146. ^ a b "CBO Report Shows Rich Got Richer, As Did Most Americans: View". October 31, 2011.
  147. ^ a b Krugman, Paul (November 3, 2011). "Oligarchy, American Style". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  148. ^ a b Hacker, Jacob S.; Pierson, Paul (2014). Winner-take-all politics: how washington made the rich richer–and turned its back on the middle class. Simon & Schuster. p. 75. ISBN 9781416593843. OCLC 892939587.
  149. ^ Gilens, Martin; Page, Benjamin I. (2014). "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens". Perspectives on Politics. 12 (3): 564–581. doi:10.1017/S1537592714001595.
  150. ^ Piketty, Thomas (2017). Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Belknap Press. p. 514. ISBN 978-0674979857. the risk of a drift towards oligarchy is real and gives little reason for optimism about where the United States is headed.
  151. ^ Josh Harkinson (September 13, 2013). Chart: Washington Gridlock Linked to Income Inequality. Mother Jones. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  152. ^ a b "Pollution and Politics". The New York Times. November 28, 2014.
  153. ^ "Krugman: Income Inequality Pricks 'Conscience'". Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  154. ^ Manduca, Robert (2019). "The Contribution of National Income Inequality to Regional Economic Divergence". Social Forces. 98 (2): 622–648. doi:10.1093/sf/soz013.
  155. ^ Bonica, Adam; McCarty, Nolan; Poole, Keith T; Rosenthal, Howard (August 1, 2013). "Why Hasn't Democracy Slowed Rising Inequality?". Journal of Economic Perspectives. 27 (3): 103–124. doi:10.1257/jep.27.3.103. ISSN 0895-3309. S2CID 154547751.
  156. ^ Voeten, Erik (October 18, 2011). "Polarization and Inequality". The Monkey Cage.
  157. ^ Dunsmuir, Lindsay (October 11, 2017). "IMF calls for fiscal policies that tackle rising inequality". Reuters. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  158. ^ Bartels 2002, Table 1: Differential Responsiveness of Senators to Constituency Opinion.
  159. ^ Bartels, Larry (2008). Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age. Princeton University Press. pp. 270–80. ISBN 9781400828357.
  160. ^ Bartels, Larry (November 2002). "Economic Inequality and Political Representation" (PDF). Russell Sage. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  161. ^ "Class System,Medieval Class System,Social Class System,What Are The Different Classes In The Class System,Social Stratification,Sociology Guide". Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  162. ^ Stein, Ben (November 26, 2006). "In Class Warfare, Guess Which Class Is Winning". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  163. ^ a b Packer, George (November–December 2011). "The Broken Contract". Foreign Affairs: America and the World. Foreign Affairs. ISSN 0015-7120. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  164. ^ Martin, Jonathan; Harris, John F. (April 15, 2013). "Obama, GOP fight the class war". POLITICO. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  165. ^ Smith, Hedrick (2013). Who stole the American dream?. Random House Trade Paperbacks. pp. xviii–xix. ISBN 9780812982053. OCLC 856903936.
  166. ^ Krugman, Paul (1993). "The Uncomfortable Truth about NAFTA: It's Foreign Policy, Stupid". Foreign Affairs. 72 (5): 13–19. doi:10.2307/20045808. ISSN 0015-7120. JSTOR 20045808.
  167. ^ "Interview with Joseph E. Stiglitz | Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis". Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  168. ^ Davidson, Paul (2013). "Income Inequality and Hollowing Out the Middle Class". Journal of Post Keynesian Economics. 36 (2): 381–383. doi:10.2753/PKE0160-3477360209. S2CID 153945956.
  169. ^ a b Stiglitz, Joseph E. "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%". Vanity Fair. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  170. ^ Phillips, Matt (March 2016). "The hidden economics behind the rise of Donald Trump".
  171. ^ Piketty, Thomas (November 16, 2016). "We must rethink globalization, or Trumpism will prevail". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  172. ^ Stiglitz, Joseph (May 13, 2019). "Three decades of neoliberal policies have decimated the middle class, our economy, and our democracy". MarketWatch. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  173. ^ Wilkinson, Richard; Pickett, Kate (May 3, 2011). The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. p. 177. ISBN 9781608193417. A study confined to non-Hispanic whites in US and England also showed the effect.
  174. ^ Countries of similar cultures and different levels of equality – Spain and Portugal – showed difference in the index, while countries with very different cultures and ways of achieving equality – Nordic countries and Japan – charted closer to each other. Wilkinson & Pickett 2011, p. 183
  175. ^ The effect was worse among low class/education level in high inequality countries, but continued through all occupational classes and was still significant among the highest. Wilkinson & Pickett 2011, pp. 178–79
  176. ^ Wilkinson, Richard; Pickett, Kate. "The Spirit Level".
  177. ^ Booth, Robert (August 13, 2010). "The Spirit Level: how 'ideas wreckers' turned book into political punchbag". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  178. ^ Holland, Joshua (April 19, 2014). "High Inequality Results in More US Deaths Than Tobacco, Car Crashes and Guns Combined". Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  179. ^ Helliwell, John; Layard, Richard; Sachs, Jeffrey. "World Happiness Report" (PDF). The Earth Institute. p. 8. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  180. ^ Chen, Michelle (November 6, 2015). "Now White People Are Dying From Our Terrible Economic Policies, Too". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Archived from the original on September 18, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  181. ^ Gaffney, A. W. (November 8, 2015). "How Class Kills". Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  182. ^ Woodward, Aylin (November 30, 2019). "Life expectancy in the US keeps going down, and a new study says America's worsening inequality could be to blame". Business Insider. Archived from the original on December 18, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  183. ^ Case A, Deaton A (2020). Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism. Princeton University Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0691190785.
  184. ^ Karma, Roge (May 10, 2019). "The Gross Inequality of Death in America". The New Republic. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  185. ^ Kwon, Roy; Cabrera, Joseph F. (September 20, 2019). "Income inequality and mass shootings in the United States". BMC Public Health. 19 (1): 1147. doi:10.1186/s12889-019-7490-x. PMC 6753615. PMID 31537201. There is strong evidence in this study to suggest the recent growth of income inequality is significantly associated with mass shootings in the United States. Specifically, this evidence indicates that a one standard deviation increase in the growth of income inequality augments the number of mass shootings by 0.43 to 0.57.
  186. ^ Krugman, Paul (December 28, 2012). "Policy Implications of Capital-Biased Technology: Opening Remarks". Paul Krugman Blog. New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  187. ^ Baker, Dean (February 12, 2013). "The Impact of the Upward Redistribution of Wage Income on Social Security". Center for Economic and Policy Research. Archived from the original on October 10, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  188. ^ Hayek, F. A. (1977). Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 2. Vol. 2:chapter=The Mirage of Social Justice. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 33. doi:10.7208/chicago/9780226321257.001.0001. ISBN 9780226320830.
  189. ^ Hayek, F.A. The Constitution of Liberty. p. 231. ISBN 9781315832081. OCLC 1058964407.
  190. ^ Stiglitz, Joe (June 14, 2012). "We've been brainwashed". Salon. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  191. ^ a b Galston, William (December 17, 2011). "Why Obama's New Populism May Sink His Campaign". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  192. ^ Galston, William (May 3, 2012). "Why the President's Campaign Shouldn't Focus on Inequality". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  193. ^ Page, Susan; Breitman, Kendall (January 23, 2014). "Poll: United we stand on wealth gap". USA Today. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  194. ^ "Most See Inequality Growing, but Partisans Differ over Solutions". Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. January 23, 2014.
  195. ^ Osberg, Lars; Smeeding, Timothy (2006). "Fair Inequality? Attitudes Toward Pay Differentials: The United States in Comparative Perspective". American Sociological Review. 71 (3): 450–73. doi:10.1177/000312240607100305. S2CID 145216360.
  196. ^ Norton, M. I.; Ariely, D. (January 2011). "Building a Better America – One Wealth Quintile at a Time" (PDF). Perspectives on Psychological Science. 6 (6): 9–12. doi:10.1177/1745691610393524. PMID 26162108. S2CID 2013655.
  197. ^ a b Bee, Adam (February 2012). "Household Income Inequality Within U.S. Counties: 2006–2010" (PDF). Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 22, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  198. ^ "Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009". Newsroom. United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 3, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  199. ^ a b Cooper, Daniel H.; Lutz, Byron F.; Palumbo, Michael G. (September 22, 2011). "Quantifying the Role of Federal and State Taxes in Mitigating Income Inequality" (PDF). Federal Reserve, Boston, United States. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 3, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
  200. ^ Chokshi, Niraj (August 11, 2014). "Income inequality seems to be rising in more than 2 in 3 metro areas". Washington Post. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
  201. ^ "GINI index (World Bank estimate) | Data". Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  202. ^ "The U.S.'s high income gap is met with relatively low public concern". Pew Research Center. December 6, 2013.
  203. ^ "Income Inequality in the U.S. in Cross-National Perspective" (PDF). Luxembourg Income Study Center. April 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 5, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  204. ^ a b c "Field Listing – Distribution of family income – Gini index". CIA Factbook. June 14, 2007. Archived from the original on June 13, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2007.
  205. ^ "Growing Unequal? Income distribution and poverty in OECD countries (summary)" (PDF). OECD. 2008.
  206. ^ "Compare your country".
  207. ^ World Income Inequality Database (WIID), Wikidata Q122442727
  208. ^ Nolan, Brian; Valenzuela, Luis (July 11, 2019). "Inequality and its discontents". Oxford Review of Economic Policy. 35 (3): 396–430. doi:10.1093/oxrep/grz016. ISSN 0266-903X.
  209. ^ Rattner, Steven (November 2014). "Inequality, Unbelievably, Gets Worse". The New York Times.
  210. ^ Cassidy, John (November 18, 2013). "American Inequality in Six Charts". The New Yorker.
  211. ^ "Who's really the world's richest?". April 6, 2004. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  212. ^ Lister, Tim (November 2, 2011). "Tax evasion is a national pastime afflicting southern Europe". CNN. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012.
  213. ^ "Low-Income Italians Own An Awful Lot Of Supercars, Private Jets And Yachts". Business Insider. January 12, 2012. Archived from the original on December 12, 2012.
  214. ^ a b Leonhardt, David; Quealy, Kevin (April 22, 2014). "The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World's Richest". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  215. ^ Kenworthy, Lane (1999). "Do Social-Welfare Policies Reduce Poverty? A Cross-National Assessment". Social Forces. 77 (3): 1119–39. doi:10.1093/sf/77.3.1119. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008.Bradley, D.; Huber, E.; Moller, S.; Nielsen, F.; Stephens, J. D. (2003). "Determinants of Relative Poverty in Advanced Capitalist Democracies". American Sociological Review. 68 (1): 22–51. doi:10.2307/3088901. JSTOR 3088901. S2CID 144289954.
  216. ^ Gould, Elise; Wething, Hilary (July 24, 2012). "U.S. poverty rates higher, safety net weaker than in peer countries". Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  217. ^ Ito, Ki; Katz, Ian; Kolet, Ilan (August 19, 2014). "Only Rich Know Wage Gains With No Raises for U.S Workers". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  218. ^ a b c Garrett, Thomas A. (Spring 2010). "U.S. Income Inequality: It's Not So Bad". Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Archived from the original on March 17, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  219. ^ a b Grusky, David B. (March–April 2013). "What to Do about Inequality". Boston Review. Archived from the original on April 20, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  220. ^ "For Solution to Income Stagnation, Republicans and Democrats Revise Their Playbooks". The New York Times. December 30, 2014.
  221. ^ Kausik, B. N. (May 3, 2022). "Income Inequality, Cause and Cure". Challenge. 65 (3–4): 93–105. arXiv:2201.10726. doi:10.1080/05775132.2022.2046883. ISSN 0577-5132. S2CID 246285783.
  222. ^ "Redefining "Rich": Not Just The 1%". KERA-FM. July 19, 2017. (audio interview with Richard V. Reeves)
  223. ^ "Dire Warning About Rich-Poor Divide". HuffPost. May 14, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  224. ^ Kenworthy, Lane (January 6, 2014). "America's Social Democratic Future". Foreign Affairs: America and the World. Foreign Affairs. ISSN 0015-7120. Retrieved October 10, 2019. See also: Kenworthy, Lane (February 2014). Social Democratic America. OUP USA. ISBN 9780199322510.
  225. ^ Thompson, Derek (February 17, 2012). "The Entrepreneur State: Safety Nets for Startups, Capitalism for Corporations". The Atlantic.
  226. ^ Livingston, Jay (November 10, 2011). "Start-ups and Safety Nets - Sociological Images". The Society Pages. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  227. ^ Picchi, Aimee (October 17, 2019). "America's richest 400 families now pay a lower tax rate than the middle class". CBS News. Archived from the original on May 11, 2024. (Chart labeled "Effective tax rates by income".) Analysis by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.
  228. ^ "The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2010". The US Congressional Budget Office (CBO). December 4, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  229. ^ Lowrey, Annie (January 4, 2013). "Tax Code May Be the Most Progressive Since 1979". The New York Times. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  230. ^ "Tax Expenditures | U.S. Department of the Treasury". Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  231. ^ Montgomery, Lori (May 29, 2013). "Richest 20 percent get half the overall savings from U.S. tax breaks, CBO says" – via
  232. ^ Ingraham, Christopher (October 8, 2019). "For the first time in history, U.S. billionaires paid a lower tax rate than the working class last year". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  233. ^ Baker, Dean (August 26, 2014). "How to Think About the Corporate Income Tax". Center for Economic and Policy Research. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  234. ^ Baker, Dean (August 26, 2014). "Subverting the Inversions: More Thoughts on Ending the Corporate Income Tax". Center for Economic and Policy Research. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  235. ^ Baker, Dean (August 29, 2014). "More Cheap Thoughts on the Corporate Income Tax". Center for Economic and Policy Research. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  236. ^ "The logical floor - The logical floor - Moderate minimum wages do more good than harm. They should be set by technocrats not politicians". The Economist. December 14, 2013. Scepticism about the merits of minimum wages remains this newspaper's starting-point. But as income inequality widens and workers' share of national income shrinks, the case for action to help the low-paid grows. Addressing the problem through subsidies for the working poor is harder in an era of austerity, when there are many other pressing claims on national coffers. Other policy options, such as confiscatory taxes, are unattractive. Nor is a moderate minimum wage as undesirable as neoclassical purists suggest.
  237. ^ "The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage". July 9, 2019. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  238. ^ "The Green Party of the United States". Archived from the original on June 19, 2011.
  239. ^ "Richard Wolff on Curing Capitalism". Retrieved October 10, 2019. See also: Wolff, Richard D. (2012). Democracy at Work (d@w). Haymarket Books. ISBN 978-1608462476. Retrieved October 10, 2019. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  240. ^ "MK Asante's Memoir "Buck" and Gar Alperovitz on Using Democracy to Reduce Inequality". WYPR. November 20, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  241. ^ Alperovitz, Gar (2013). What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk about the Next American Revolution. Chelsea Green Publishing. ISBN 978-1603585040.
  242. ^ Bernanke, Ben S. (June 1, 2015). "Monetary policy and inequality". The Brookings Institution.
  243. ^ "Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2013 to 2016: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances" (PDF). Federal Reserve Bulletin. September 2017. pp. 4, 13. See: Survey of Consumer Finances and "Federal Reserve Board - Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF)". Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  244. ^ "US Census Bureau. (2005). Historical Income Tables – Income Equality" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 26, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2007.
  245. ^ "US Census Bureau. (2006). Measures of Individual Earnings Inequality for Full-Time, Year-Round Workers by Sex: 1967 to 2005". Archived from the original on June 17, 2007. Retrieved June 21, 2007.
  246. ^ a gini index increase of 15% as opposed to CBO's increase in gini index of 33% (cbo "Trends in Distribution" study p. 7)
  247. ^ Saez and Piketty, and the CBO
  248. ^ A 2010 census study showed the top 20 percent of Americans earned 49.4% of the nation's income, compared with the 3.4% earned by the ~15% of Americans living below the poverty line. This earnings ratio of 14.5 to 1 was an increase from the 13.6 to 1 ratio just two years earlier, and a significant rise from the historic low of 7.69 to 1 in 1968
  249. ^ "Associated Press. (September 28, 2010)". September 28, 2010. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
  250. ^ "Federal Reserve Board - Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF)". Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
  251. ^ Auten, Gerald; Gee, Geoffrey; Turner, Nicholas (December 2013). "New Perspectives On Income Mobility and Inequality". National Tax Journal.
  252. ^ Garrett, Thomas A. (April 1, 2010). "U.S. Income Inequality: It's Not So Bad". Archived from the original on September 17, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  253. ^ a b Babones, Salvatore (February 14, 2012). "U.S. Income Distribution: Just How Unequal?". Institute for Policy Studies. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  254. ^ a b Burtless, Gary (January 6, 2014). "Income Growth and Income Inequality: The Facts May Surprise You". Brookings. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  255. ^ Stoops, N. (June 2004). "Educational Attainment in the United States: 2003. US Census Bureau" (PDF). Retrieved June 21, 2007.
  256. ^ "Selected Characteristics of Households, by Total Money Income in 2005". 2006. Archived from the original on June 26, 2007. Retrieved June 21, 2007.
  257. ^ Perese, Kevin. "CBO's New Framework for Analyzing the Effects of Means-Tested Transfers and Federal Taxes on the Distribution of Household Income" (PDF). Congressional Budget Office.
  258. ^ Datta, Gautam; Meerman, Jacob (December 1980). "Household Income or Household Income per Capita in Welfare Comparisons". Review of Income and Wealth. 26 (4): 401–418. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4991.1980.tb00175.x. ISSN 0034-6586.
  259. ^ a b Hassett, Kevin A.; Mathur, Aparna (October 24, 2012). "Consumption and the Myths of Inequality". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  260. ^ Reynolds, A. (January 8, 2007). "Has U.S. Income Inequality Really Increased?. Cato Institute" (PDF). Retrieved June 20, 2007.
  261. ^ Rector, R.; Herderman, R. Jr. (August 24, 2004). "Two Americas, One Rich, One Poor? Understanding Income Inequality In the United States". Heritage Foundation. Archived from the original on June 13, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2007.
  262. ^ Rakesh, Kochhar; Cohn, D'Vera (October 3, 2011). "Fighting Poverty in a Bad Economy, Americans Move in with Relatives". Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  263. ^ Aron-Dine, A.; Sherman, A. (January 23, 2007). "New CBO Data Show Income Inequality Continues to Widen: After-tax-income for Top 1 Percent Rose by $146,000 in 2004". Retrieved November 24, 2007.
  264. ^ Gini, C. (1909). "Concentration and dependency ratios" (in Italian). English translation in Rivista di Politica Economica, 87 (1997), 769–789.
  265. ^ "Income distribution – Inequality : Income distribution – Inequality – Country tables". OECD. 2012. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012.
  266. ^ Kakwani, N. C. (April 1977). "Applications of Lorenz Curves in Economic Analysis". Econometrica. 45 (3): 719–28. doi:10.2307/1911684. JSTOR 1911684.
  267. ^ Chu, K.; Gupta, Davoodi (March 2000). "Income Distribution and Tax and Government Social Spending Policies in Developing Countries" (PDF). International Monetary Fund.
  268. ^ Wang, Chen; Caminada, Koen; Goudswaard, Kees (July–September 2012). "The redistributive effect of social transfer programmes and taxes: A decomposition across countries". International Social Security Review. 65 (3): 27–48. doi:10.1111/j.1468-246X.2012.01435.x. hdl:1887/3207160. S2CID 154029963.
  269. ^ U.S. Census Bureau (September 16, 2014). "Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013".
  270. ^ "Paul Ryan on Income Inequality and Upward Mobility". Ricochet. November 28, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  271. ^ Wilkinson, Will (2009). "Thinking Clearly About Economic Inequality" (PDF). Cato Institute.
  272. ^ Johnson; Smeeding; Tory (April 2005). "Economic Inequality". Monthly Labor Review.
  273. ^ Edsall, Thomas B. (January 30, 2013). "The Hidden Prosperity of the Poor". The New York Times. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  274. ^ Attanasio, Orazio; Hurst, Erik; Pistaferri, Luigi (2012). "The Evolution of Income, Consumption, and Leisure Inequality in The US, 1980–2010". NBER Working Paper No. 17982. doi:10.3386/w17982. SSRN 2035781.
  275. ^ "How Inflation Has Affected Households at Different Income Levels Since 2019 | Congressional Budget Office". September 22, 2022. Retrieved September 23, 2022.
  276. ^ a b "Evolution of wealth indicators, USA, 1913-2019". World Inequality Database. 2022. Archived from the original on July 5, 2023. Retrieved September 6, 2023.
  277. ^ Frank, Robert (September 16, 2013). "400 richest Americans now worth $2 trillion". CNBC.
  278. ^ "FRB: Speech with Slideshow – Yellen, Perspectives on Inequality and Opportunity from the Survey of Consumer Finances". October 17, 2014.
  279. ^ "the top 1% by wealth, not income-January 2013". January 1, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  280. ^ "Who Rules America: Wealth, Income, and Power".
  281. ^ Egan, Matt (September 27, 2017). "Record inequality: The top 1% controls 38.6% of America's wealth". CNN Money. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  282. ^ "Forget the 1%". The Economist. November 6, 2014.
  283. ^ Chetty, Raj; Deming, David J.; Friedman, John N. (July 2023). "Diversifying Society's Leaders? The Determinants and Consequences of Admission to Highly Selective Colleges" (PDF). Opportunity Insights. p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 31, 2023. Figure 3. "Ivy-Plus" refers to Ivy League schools plus others with similar prestige, rankings or selectivity.
  284. ^ Lee, Chungmei; Gary, Gary (2005). "Why Segregation Matters: Poverty and Educational Inequality". The Civil Rights Project. Harvard University: 1–47.
  285. ^ "David Brooks." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Biography In Context. Web. November 7, 2013.
  286. ^ a b Brooks, David (October 31, 2011). "The Wrong Inequality". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  287. ^ Kristof, Nicholas (February 8, 2012). "White Underclass". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  288. ^, UCTV, University of California Television-. "UCTV, University of California Television". Retrieved September 22, 2022. {{cite web}}: External link in |last= (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  289. ^ Temin, Peter (January 18, 2018). The Vanishing Middle Class. Vol. 1. doi:10.7551/mitpress/9780262036160.001.0001. ISBN 9780262036160.
  290. ^ Pattnayak, Satya (July 2012). "Book Review: Joseph E. Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future". International Studies. 49 (3–4): 452–453. doi:10.1177/0020881714534542. ISSN 0020-8817. S2CID 156981646.
  291. ^ "Figure 1.2. The share of total income received by the top one percent is the highest in the OECD". doi:10.1787/888933302367. Retrieved September 22, 2022. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  292. ^ "Historical Income Tables: Households". Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  293. ^ Madden, Janice F. (May 1, 2000). Changes in Income Inequality within U.S. Metropolitan Areas. W.E. Upjohn Institute. doi:10.17848/9780585301785. ISBN 978-0-585-30178-5.
  294. ^ Komlos, John (January 11, 2019). Foundations of Real-World Economics. doi:10.4324/9781315099972. ISBN 9781315099972. S2CID 186859234.
  295. ^ Schlesinger, Jill. "Muddled in the middle class". The Independent Tribune. Archived from the original on September 22, 2022. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  296. ^ "Does U.S. Economic Inequality Have a Good Side?". PBS NewsHour. October 26, 2011.
  297. ^ Hopkin, Jonathan; Lapuente, Victor; Moller, Lovisa (January 25, 2014). "Lower levels of inequality are linked with greater innovation in economies". London School of Economics. Archived from the original on February 11, 2014.
  298. ^ Shiller, Robert (October 15, 2013). "Income Inequality Is 'Most Important Problem". Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  299. ^ "Obama says income inequality is defining challenge for U.S." PBS NewsHour. December 4, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  300. ^ Alston, Philip (May 4, 2018). Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to the United States of America (Report). Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. p. 19. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  301. ^ "UN expert calls US income inequality 'a political choice'". Associated Press. June 4, 2018. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  302. ^ Christoffersen, John (October 14, 2013). "Rising inequality 'most important problem,' says Nobel-winning economist". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  303. ^ Cassidy, John (March 31, 2014). "Forces of Divergence Is surging inequality endemic to capitalism? (review of Capital in the Twenty-first Century by Thomas Piketty)". New Yorker. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  304. ^ McGreal, Chris (October 7, 2023). "Angus Deaton on inequality: 'The war on poverty has become a war on the poor'". The Guardian. Retrieved October 11, 2023.
  305. ^ a b Hederman, Rea. "Two Americas: One Rich, One Poor? Understanding Income Inequality in the United States". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  306. ^ Sowell, Thomas (February 7, 2000). "Perennial Economic Fallacies". Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  307. ^ Meltzer, Allan H. (March 9, 2012). "A Look at the Global One Percent". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved October 10, 2019.

Works cited

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 22 June 2024, at 03:25
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.