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
Making Ends Meet Kathryn Edin, Laura Lein

Making Ends Meet

Author: Kathryn Edin, Laura Lein
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
Date: 04/1997
Getting a Job Mark Granovetter

Getting a Job

Author: Mark Granovetter
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Date: 03/1995
Who Rules America? G. William Domhoff

Who Rules America?

Author: G. William Domhoff
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
The Risk Society Beck, Ulrich

The Risk Society

Author: Beck, Ulrich
Publisher: Sage
Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age Larry M. Bartels

Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age

Author: Larry M. Bartels
Publisher: Princeton University Press

income and wealth - CPI Affiliates

John Mirowsky's picture John Mirowsky Professor of Sociology, Emeritus
University of Texas at Austin
Rebecca L. Sandefur's picture Rebecca L. Sandefur Associate Professor, Department of Sociology; Associate Professor, College of Law (by courtesy); Faculty Affiliate, Women and Gender in Global Perspective and Program in Law, Behavior and Social Sciences
University of Illinois
Robert Max Jackson's picture Robert Max Jackson Professor of Sociology
New York University
Paul Oyer's picture Paul Oyer Fred H. Merrill Professor of Economics; Director, Big Data, Strategic Decisions: Analysis to Action Co-Director, Harnessing AI for Breakthrough Innovation and Strategic Impact Co-Director, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies Director, Stanford Latino Entre
Stanford University
John Roemer's picture John Roemer Elizabeth S. and A. Varick Professor of Political Sciences and Economics; Fellow, Econometric Society
Yale University


Income And Wealth - Other Research

Title Author Media
Between Class and Market Bruce Western

Between Class and Market

Author: Bruce Western
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Changes in Labor Force Participation in the United States Juhn Chinhui and Simon Potter

Changes in Labor Force Participation in the United States

Author: Juhn Chinhui and Simon Potter
Publisher: Journal of Economic Perspectives
Classes in Contemporary Capitalism Nicos Poulantzas

Classes in Contemporary Capitalism

Author: Nicos Poulantzas
Publisher: Schocken Books
Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There David Brooks

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There

Author: David Brooks
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

It used to be pretty easy to distinguish between the bourgeois world of capitalism and the bohemian counterculture. The bourgeois worked for corporations, wore gray, and went to church. The bohemians were artists and intellectuals. Bohemians championed the values of the liberated 1960s; the bourgeois were the enterprising yuppies of the 1980s. But now the bohemian and the bourgeois are all mixed up, as David Brooks explains in this brilliant description of upscale culture in America. It is hard to tell an espresso-sipping professor from a cappuccino-gulping banker. Laugh and sob as you read about the information age economy's new dominant class. Marvel at their attitudes toward morality, sex, work, and lifestyle, and at how the members of this new elite have combined the values of the countercultural sixties with those of the achieving eighties. These are the people who set the tone for society today, for you. They are bourgeois bohemians: Bobos. Are you a Bobo? Do you believe that spending $15,000 on a media center is vulgar, but that spending $15,000 on a slate shower stall is a sign that you are at one with the Zenlike rhythms of nature? Does your newly renovated kitchen look like an aircraft hangar with plumbing? Did you select your new refrigerator on the grounds that mere freezing isn't cold enough? Would you spend a little more for socially conscious toothpaste -- the kind that doesn't actually kill germs, it just asks them to leave? Do you work for one of those hip, visionary software companies where everybody comes to work in hiking boots and glacier glasses, as if a 400-foot wall of ice were about to come sliding through the parking lot? Do you think your educational credentials are just as good as those of the shimmering couples on the New York Times weddings page? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are probably a member of today's new upper class. Even if you didn't, you'd still better pay attention, because these Bobos define our age. Their hybrid culture is the atmosphere we breathe. Their status codes govern social life, and their moral codes govern ethics and influence our politics. Bobos in Paradise is a witty and serious look at the cultural consequences of the information age and a penetrating description of how we live now.

The Dual Economy Averitt, Robert T.

The Dual Economy

Author: Averitt, Robert T.
Publisher: New York: Norton

Income And Wealth - Multimedia

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