Income and Wealth Inequality

  • Nicholas Bloom
  • Raj Chetty
  • Emmanuel Saez

Leaders: Nicholas Bloom, Raj Chetty, Emmanuel Saez

The CPI is home to some of the country’s most influential analyses of the income and wealth distribution. The purpose of the Income and Wealth RG is to monitor the ongoing takeoff in income inequality, to better understand its sources, and to analyze its implications for labor market performance, educational attainment, mobility, and more. The following is a sampling of the CPI’s research projects within this area.

Trends in income and wealth inequality: What are the key trends in U.S. income and wealth inequality? The U.S. increasingly looks to Emmanuel Saez and his research team for the latest data on U.S. economic inequality.

Distributional National Accounts: In an ambitious infrastructural project, Emmanuel Saez and his team are building a “Distributional National Accounts” based on tax returns, a data set that will eliminate the current gap between (a) national accounts data based on economic aggregates and (b) inequality analysis that uses micro-level tax data to examine the distribution of income but is not consistent with national aggregates. This new data set will in turn make it possible to evaluate the extent to which economic growth, which has long been represented as a preferred poverty-reduction approach, is indeed delivering on that objective.

The rise of between-firm inequality: How much of the rise in earnings inequality can be attributed to increasing between-firm dispersion in the average wages they pay? This question can be addressed by constructing a matched employer-employee data set for the United States using administrative records.

Rent and inequality: It is increasingly fashionable to argue that “rent” accounts for much of the takeoff in income inequality. The Current Population Survey can be used to assess whether this claim is on the mark. 

Income And Wealth - CPI Research

Title Author Media
Cultural Reproduction and Social Reproduction Pierre Bourdieu

Cultural Reproduction and Social Reproduction

Author: Pierre Bourdieu
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date:

According to Bourdieu, cultural reproduction is the social process through which culture is reproduced across generations, especially through the socializing influence of major institutions. Bourdieu applied the concept in particular to the ways in which social institutions such as schools are used to pass along cultural ideas that underlie and support the privileged position of the dominant or upper class.

Cultural reproduction is part of a larger process of social reproduction through which entire societies and their cultural, structural, and ecological characteristics are reproduced through a process that invariably involves a certain amount of social change. From a Marxist perspective, social reproduction is primarily economic in scope. In a broader sense, however, social reproduction is much more than this, from the shape of religious institutions to language and varieties of music and other cultural products.

Unequal English Wealth since 1670 Lindert, Peter H.

Unequal English Wealth since 1670

Author: Lindert, Peter H.
Publisher: Journal of Political Economy
Date:
Intimations of Postmodernity Zygmunt Bauman

Intimations of Postmodernity

Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: Routledge
Date:
Toward a Sounder Basis for Class Analysis Aage B. Sørensen

Toward a Sounder Basis for Class Analysis

Author: Aage B. Sørensen
Publisher: American Journal of Sociology
Date:
Political Power and Social Classes Nicos Poulantzas

Political Power and Social Classes

Author: Nicos Poulantzas
Publisher: Verso
Date:

Income And Wealth - Other Research

Title Author Media
Nickel-and-Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel-and-Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America

Author: Barbara Ehrenreich
Publisher: Macmillan
Date:
America Unequal Sheldon Danziger and Peter Gottschalk

America Unequal

Author: Sheldon Danziger and Peter Gottschalk
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Date:
The Credential Society: An Historical Sociology of Education and Stratification Randall Collins

The Credential Society: An Historical Sociology of Education and Stratification

Author: Randall Collins
Publisher: Academic Press
Date:
Social Mobility in Industrial Society Seymour Martin Lipset and Reinhard Bendix

Social Mobility in Industrial Society

Author: Seymour Martin Lipset and Reinhard Bendix
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Date:
Class, Status, and Power: Social Stratification in Comparative Perspective Reinhard Bendix, Seymour Martin Lipset

Class, Status, and Power: Social Stratification in Comparative Perspective

Author: Reinhard Bendix, Seymour Martin Lipset
Publisher: Routledge & Kegan Paul
Date:

Income And Wealth - Multimedia

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