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
Human Capital, Effort and the Sexual Division of Labor Becker, Gary S.

Human Capital, Effort and the Sexual Division of Labor

Author: Becker, Gary S.
Publisher: Journal of Labor Economics
Date:
Equality and Inequality in Modern Society, or Social Stratification Revisited Talcott Parsons

Equality and Inequality in Modern Society, or Social Stratification Revisited

Author: Talcott Parsons
Publisher: The Free Press
Date:
Why Did Western Europe Extend the Franchise? Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

Why Did Western Europe Extend the Franchise?

Author: Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
Publisher: Quarterly Journal of Economics
Date:
Conspicuous Consumption and Expenditure Visibility: Measurement and Application Ori Heffetz

Conspicuous Consumption and Expenditure Visibility: Measurement and Application

Author: Ori Heffetz
Publisher:
Date:
Social Mobility in Industrial Society Seymour Martin Lipset, Reinhard Bendix

Social Mobility in Industrial Society

Author: Seymour Martin Lipset, Reinhard Bendix
Publisher: University of California Press.
Date:

Income And Wealth - Other Research

Title Author Media
The Rise of Intra-Occupational Wage Inequality in the United States, 1983 to 2002 Chang Kim, Hwan and Arthur Sakamoto

The Rise of Intra-Occupational Wage Inequality in the United States, 1983 to 2002

Author: Chang Kim, Hwan and Arthur Sakamoto
Publisher: American Sociological Review
Date:
Money, Morals, and Manners: The Culture of the French and the American Upper-Middle Class Michele Lamont

Money, Morals, and Manners: The Culture of the French and the American Upper-Middle Class

Author: Michele Lamont
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Date:
The Evolution of Top Incomes: A Historical and International Perspective Thomas Piketty amd Emmanuel Saez

The Evolution of Top Incomes: A Historical and International Perspective

Author: Thomas Piketty amd Emmanuel Saez
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research
Date:
A Theory of Ethnic Antagonism: The Split Labor Market Edna Bonacich

A Theory of Ethnic Antagonism: The Split Labor Market

Author: Edna Bonacich
Publisher:
Date:

An important source of antagonism between ethnic groups is hypothesized to be a split labor market, i.e. one in which there is a large differential in price of labor for the same occupation. The price of labor is not a response to race or ethnicity of those entering the labor market. A price differential results from differences in resources and motives which are often correlates of ethnicity. A split labor market produces a three-way conflict between business and the two labor groups, with business seeking to displace higher paid by cheaper labor. Ethnic antagonism can take two forms: exclusion movements and "caste" systems. Both are seen as victories for higher paid labor since they prevent undercutting.

Disorder in the Life Course: How Common and Does it Matter? Rindfuss, Ronald, C. Gray Swicegood, and Rachel A...

Disorder in the Life Course: How Common and Does it Matter?

Author: Rindfuss, Ronald, C. Gray Swicegood, and Rachel A...
Publisher: American Sociological Review
Date:

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