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
Survival of the Richest Clark, Gregory and Gillian Hamilton

Survival of the Richest

Author: Clark, Gregory and Gillian Hamilton
Publisher: Journal of Economic History
Date:
Are CEOs Rewarded for Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan

Are CEOs Rewarded for Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are

Author: Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan
Publisher:
Date:
Wealth Concentration in a Developing Economy: Paris and France, 1807–1994 Thomas Piketty, Gilles Postel-Vinay, and Jean-...

Wealth Concentration in a Developing Economy: Paris and France, 1807–1994

Author: Thomas Piketty, Gilles Postel-Vinay, and Jean-...
Publisher: American economic review
Date:
The American Occupational Structure Blau Peter M. and Otis D. Duncan

The American Occupational Structure

Author: Blau Peter M. and Otis D. Duncan
Publisher:
Date:
Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies Gøsta Esping-Andersen

Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies

Author: Gøsta Esping-Andersen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date:

income and wealth - CPI Affiliates

Nan Lin's picture Nan Lin Oscar L. Tang Family Professor of Sociology, Academician, Academia Sinica (Taiwan)
Duke University
Ira I. Katznelson's picture Ira I. Katznelson Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History
Columbia University

Pages

Income And Wealth - Other Research

Title Author Media
Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream Barbara Ehrenreich

Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream

Author: Barbara Ehrenreich
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Date:
The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence Olivier J. Blanchard and Justin Wolfers

The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence

Author: Olivier J. Blanchard and Justin Wolfers
Publisher: The Economic Journal
Date:
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
Date:

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.

Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being Daniel Kahneman and Alan Krueger

Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being

Author: Daniel Kahneman and Alan Krueger
Publisher:
Date:
The Wealth of Nations Adam Smith

The Wealth of Nations

Author: Adam Smith
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Date:

Income And Wealth - Multimedia

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