Inequality Update: Who Gains When Income Grows?

(Refer to full article for chart.) The chart illustrates that with every postwar expansion, as the economy grew, the bottom 90% of households received a smaller and smaller share of that growth. Even though their share was falling, the majority of families still captured the majority of the income growth until the 70s. Starting in […]

Inequality in the US: A Tale of Two Countries

The rise of economic inequality is one of the most hotly debated issues today in the US (Furman 2016) and indeed in the world. Yet economists and policymakers alike face important limitations when trying to measure and understand the rise of inequality. One major problem is the disconnect between macroeconomics and the study of economic […]

Disabled, or just desperate?

BEAVERTON, ALA. The lobby at the pain-management clinic had become crowded with patients, so relatives had gone outside to their trucks to wait, and here, too, sat Desmond Spencer, smoking a 9 a.m. cigarette and watching the door. He tried stretching out his right leg, knowing these waits can take hours, and winced. He couldn’t sit […]

Why the Surge in Income Inequality?

Income inequality is more severe in the United States than in any other affluent longstanding-democratic country, and it has increased sharply in the past generation. The rise in inequality is mainly a story of growing separation between households in the top 1 percent and those in the ‘‘bottom’’ 99 percent. Income inequality within the lower 99 […]