Income Inequality

Major Causes: Unemployment, Low Wages, and Disproportionate Rewards for the Few

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
Franklin Roosevelt, Second Inaugural Address, January 1937.

World Top Income Shares

Basic family budget calculator, Eco. Policy Institute

Nine Charts about Wealth Inequality in America

Economic Hardship Reporting Project, Changing the Story of Inequality

A ‘Forgotten History’ Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America, Gross, NPR 5/17

The Rich Are Living Longer and Taking More From Taxpayers, Steverman,Bloomberg 4/17

America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People, Parramore, INET 4/17

 The Big Reason Whites Are Richer Than Blacks in America Inheritance matters a lot more than previously thought Coy, Bloomberg 2/17

Income share for the bottom 50% of Americans is ‘collapsing,’ new Piketty research finds, Goldstein 2/17, Marketwatch  Increased health care spending on the elderly consumes most of the [income] gains. The effects of government assistance vary widely with age, especially within the lower half of incomes. Younger adults between 20 and 45 years old have seen their after-tax incomes flatline. But over the same period, seniors in the bottom half have seen their after-tax incomes grow by over 70 percent. The bulk of that gain represents increased health care spending through Medicare. Piketty et al, NYTimes 12/16

Just 100 CEOs have company retirement funds worth $4.7 billion—equal to the entire retirement savings of the the bottom: 59% of African-American families; 75% of Latino families; 55 percent of female-headed households; and 44 percent of white working class households. Anderson and Klinger, IPS 12/16

Explaining inequality:Is technological progress behind growing income inequality? Darvas, Bruegel 12/16

Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer, D.  Baker 10/16 free

Striking new research on inequality: ‘Whatever you thought, it’s worse’ Swanson, Wash. P. 10/16

Income gains in 2015 don’t reverse long-run trend toward greater inequality, Gould, EPI 9/16

Neoliberal epidemics: How inequality makes us sick, Schrecker, SHP 8/16

Inequality made the Great Recession worse (especially for the poor),” Mitman et al, VoxEu 8/16 [see their table on share of income spent by wealth quintile]

Invisible Inequality: The Two Americas of Military Sacrifice, 8/16

The Ever Growing Gap: Without Change, African-A & Latino Families Won’t Match White Wealth for Centuries 8/16

Why inequality is worse for your wallet than a weak economy, Review of Blivens, Tankersley, Wash. Post, 6/16


A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality [rev.], 7/15/15 Stone et al, CBPP

Why The Universal Basic Income Is Not The Best Public Intervention To Reduce Poverty or Income Inequality, 5/

Mr. Moneybags Gets More Out of Social Security, Irwin, NYT 4/16

The New Inequality Debate: More mainstream economists now find that the income mal-distribution reflects the political sway of elites, not economic imperatives. Kuttner, Am. Prospect W/16

What Do Unions Do for the Middle Class? Freeman et al, 1/16

Why Small Debts Matter So Much To Black Lives, ProPublica, 12/15

A land of opportunity no more: Poor intergenerational mobility in the US is a feature of both the past and present, Olivetti & Paserman, 11/15.

The State of Working America 12th Ed.,Mishel, Bivens, Gould, & Shierholz , Wealth chapter   Poverty chapter    Mobility

Economic Condition of African American Community EPI, State of Working America

“For African American men without a high school diploma, being in prison or jail is more common than being employed—a sobering reality that calls into question post-Civil Rights era social gains. Nearly 70 percent of young black men will be imprisoned at some point in their lives …most national surveys do not account for prison inmates, a fact that results in a misrepresentation of U.S…. conditions in general and black progress in particular.” Invisible Men, Becky Pettit

Top CEOs Make 300 Times More than Typical Workers: Pay Growth Surpasses Stock Gains and Wage Growth of Top 0.1 Percent, Mishel & Davis, EPI 6/15

How Much do you Need to Earn to Afford a Modest Apartment in Your State? Out of Reach 2015

Policy Basics: The Estate Tax CBPP, 3/15

Income Inequality in a Nutshell: Wall St Bonuses Exceed Pay of All Full-Time Minimum Wage Workers, Mother Jones, 3/15

Image Off the Deep End: Wall St. Bonus Pool& Low-Wage Workers, Anderson, IPS 3/15

Who gained from income growth? interactive chart on inequality, 1917-2008 EPI

How Much More (Or Less) Would You Make If We Rolled Back Inequality? Bui, NPR

Power from the People, [Inequality fed by union decline] IMF, Jaumotte & Buitron 3/15

Race Inequality between US Whites and African-Americans by the Numbers, Cole 11/14

Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality, Gordon 9/14

Inequality and the Case for Unions, Koechlin, 6/14

State of the Dream Reports [Racial Wealth Divide]

How Equal Pay for Working Women would Reduce Poverty and Grow the American Economy Hartmann et al, IWPR 1/14

Change the Rules

Growing Apart A Political History of American Inequality, C. Gordon

Blame Rich, Overeducated Elites as Our Society Frays, 11/13 Bloomberg

New Census Numbers Make it Official: 2000-2010 Was a Lost Economic Decade 9/13

Rising Income Inequality and the Role of Shifting Market-Income Distribution, Tax Burdens, and Tax Rates, Fieldhouse, EPI, 6/13

Financial Security of Elderly Americans at Risk, EPI 6/13

Rising Extreme Poverty in the United States and the Response of Federal Means-Tested Transfer Programs, Shaefer & Edin 5/13

The New American Economy: A Rising Tide that Lifts Only Yachts, TCF 1/13

Ten Myths about the Estate Tax CBPP 11/12

U.S. lags behind peer countries in mobility, Gould,EPI 10/12

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the US 2011, US Densus 9/12

How Well Does TANF Proide Income Support for Poor Families? CBPP 8/12

Best and Worst Countries for Women, 6/12

Did Income Inequality Cause the Financial Crisis? Landy, TCF 5/12

Striking It Richer:The Evolution of Top Incomes in the US, Saez, updated 3/12

Extreme Poverty in the United States, 1996 to 2011, Edin & Shaefer, NPC 2/12

How Growing Inequality Led to Shrinking Democracy, Meltdown, & Mass Unemployment, Trudy Goldberg 9/11

How Do States’ Safety Net Policies Affect Poverty? Wheaton et al, Urban Instit, 9/11

How Inequality Harms Societies, R. Wilkinson, TED video, 10/11

Who are the 1% and What Do They Do for a Living? New Deal 2.0, 10/11

Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 & 2007, CBO 10/11

Employment Crisis Worsens for Black Women during the Recovery, NWLC 8/11

Two Years of Economic Recovery: Women Lose Jobs, Men Find Them, Kochhar, 7/11

America’s Tax System Is Not as Progressive as You Think, CTJ, 4/11

Nine Pictures Of The Extreme Income/Wealth Gap, D. Johnson, 2/11

Great Recession Hit Hard at America’s Working Poor: Nearly 1 In 3 Working Families in United States are Low-Income, Roberts et al, Winter 2011

Education is Not the Cure for HighUnemployment or Income Inequality, Mishel EPI, 1/11

Race, Ethnicity and the Economy, EPI

Does America Promote Mobility as Well as Other Nations? Pew, 11/11

Americans prefer Sweden’s wealth distribution to ours, Ariely & Norton

Income inequality in dollars and cents, EPI, 11/10

Poor healthcare may shorten American lives, U.S. ranks 49th in life expectancy Reuters 10/10
Poor men have shorter lives, EPI 10/10

Why Bad Things Happen to Unequal People, Pizzigati, 7/10

“Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc. “How the Working Poor Became Big Business”, Rivlin video, 7/10

Lifting as We Climb: Women of Color, Wealth, and America’s Future, 2010

Why More Equality?, The Equality Trust, UK

A long and persistent middle-class squeeze, EPI, 2/01

Why Welfare Reform Fails Its Recession Test, Edelman & Ehrenreich, Washington Post, 12/09

Divided We Stand:Why Inequality Keeps Rising [OECD Countries] 2011

In Job Hunt, College Degree Can’t Close Racial Gap, Luo, NYT, 11/09

The Middle Takes a Hit in 2008: Census Bureau Report Shows Widespread Declines in Income and Health Insurance Coverage, Fremstad, CEPR 9/09

New Estimates of Economic Inequality in America, 1959-2004, Zacharias et al Levy, 4/09

Growing disparities in life expectancy, E. Gould, EPI, 7/08

Interplay of Politics and Law to Promote Health: Improving Economic Equality and Health: The Case of Postwar Japan,” Bezruchka, Namekata, & Sistrom, AJPH 4/08

Inequality: Bad for Your Health An interview with Ichiro Kawachi, Harvard Sch/Public Health, $ &Sense, Jan/Feb 08

Income share, richest 10% for past 90 years ests Piketty & Saez

Lies, Damn Lies and Poverty Statistics: How an archaic measurement keeps millions of poor Americans from being counted, Christopher Moraff, 2/06