Sunday, July 31, 2005

Income Inequality Archive


Online Resources

Policy Debate: What accounts for recent increases in income inequality?
An overview site maintained by Thomson South-Western Publishing.
Luxembourg Income Study
World Top Incomes Database
Paris School of Economics

Debate Stream

1990

6/24
Booknotes - Politics of Rich and Poor
Transcript of a discussion of Kevin Phillips' bestseller on the concentration of wealth and its effect on the political system.

1992

6/1
Ignorance and Inequality
Economist Paul Krugman defends the calculations of professional economists in the CBO, Bureau of the Census, and the Federal Reserve from right-wing polemical attacks.
9/1
The Rich, the Right, and the Facts
Paul Krugman “deconstructing” conservative arguments regarding income inequality.

1995

1/1
By Our Own Bootstraps
A Dallas Federal Reserve study which downplays inequality and emphasizes income mobility, in part based on the University of Michigan study.
6/23
How the Pie is Sliced
Economist Edward Wolff, a leading authority on income and wealth distribution, reports the latest results in the American Prospect.
September 1995
How Much Do Americans Move Up and Down the Economic Ladder?
Isabel V. Sawhill and Daniel P. McMurrer of the Urban Institute survey income immobility.
9/21
The Ideologically Invested
Johnathon Chait, writing in the American Prospect, surveys the right-wing think-tank responses to Bill Clinton’s tax policies and economist Edward Wolff’s income distribution research.
10/1
An Unequal Exchange
Berkeley economist Brad DeLong’s favorite Krugman essay contrasts Edward Wolff and Dick Armey.

1996

5/2
The Income Inequality Debate
Herbert Stein of the American Enterprise Institute grapples with implications of inequality.
June 1996
A Brief Look at Postwar U.S. Income Inequality
Daniel H. Weinberg of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Reports surveys postwar inequality, concentrating on the period since 1967.
10/29
The Spiral of Inequality
Writing in Mother Jones, Paul Krugman surveys inequality and long-range political strategies to address it:
“Most economists who study wages and income in the United States agree about the radical increase in inequality -- only the hired guns of the right still try to claim it is a statistical illusion. But not all agree about why it has happened.”
Jude Wanniski email to Mother Jones
Supply-side journalist Jude Wanniski attacks Krugman’s article – by expounding on the success of the poor at the expense of the rich, as measured by…the price of gold.
11/1
Hey Jude
Krugman responds by introducing Wanniski to the mechanics of a government program called Medicare.
12/1
Solving the New Inequality – A Debate
Krugman, James Tobin, Frances Fox Piven and others respond to Richard Freeman’s opening essay.

1997

1/31
Inequality In The United States
A summary by the San Francisco Fed.
6/11
The Market, the State and the Dynamics of Public Culture
Kevin Phillips outlines and updates his cyclical thesis from his 1990 book The Politics of Rich and Poor.
10/21
When Numbers Aren’t What They Appear [Suite101 article]
Presentation of the statistical arguments of Robert Samuelson.
When Numbers Aren’t What They Appear [discussion]
A response.
12/1
Family Income Mobility--How Much Is There and Has It Changed?
Peter Gottschalk and Sheldon Danziger
12/16
An Example of Factions [Suite101 discussion]
In a discussion of campaign finance which alludes to empirical correlations between relative economic equality and economic growth.
12/28
The Bailout Bubble
Kevin Phillips on taxpayers bailing out the Investor Class.

1999

1/29
Painting Moderates as Extremists[Suite101 discussion]
Discussion of income inequality.
7/1
Effects of Growing Wage Disparities and Changing Family Composition on the U.S. Income Distribution
Gary Burtless of Brookings examines families and wage disparities.
Common Myths about U.S. Wage and Income Inequality
The Employment Policy Foundation responds to Richard Freeman.
10/1
Economy’s Long Surge Lifts Median to New High
Merrill Goozner is featured at Northern Illinois University’s Sociology Department website.

2000

2/7
Perennial Economic Fallacies
Thomas Sowell critiques “fallacies” of poorer getting poorer and stagnation of incomes, using numbers from the Dallas Fed study, By Our Own Bootstraps.
2/10
Inventing Bootstraps
Doug Henwood of the Left Business Observer rebuts points of the Dallas Fed study, By Our Own Bootstraps, in an internet discussion of Perennial Economic Fallacies.
2/21
Perennial Sowell Fallacies
Tom Lowe, writing in the Jackson Progressive, critiques Sowell’s assertions on income distribution and income mobility.
4/1
Recent Trends in Wealth Ownership, 1983-1998
Edward Wolff updates his continuing surveys of wealth distribution in this working paper.
8/10
Rich May Get Richer, but Poor Are Also Doing Better
Virginia Postrel, writing in The New York Times, surveys economic historian Robert W. Fogel’s work on choices and leisure time and their effect on income inequality and living standards.
8/20
Most Unkindest Cuts
Paul Krugman distills the difference between the two party’s income tax proposals and counters the Wall Street Journal’s recycling of the University of Michigan study.
8/23
Al Gore’s Class Warfare
Bruce Bartlett responds to Krugman (by citing the Michigan and Dallas Fed studies.)
9/1
Any way you cut it
An Economic Policy Institute update on income inequality.
11/6
Facts Shatter Visions
Thomas Sowell renews his commentary on household statistics.

2001

2/12
The Rich Get Richer
Edward Wolff, writing in the American Prospect, enumerates proposals to alleviate the effects of income and wealth inequality.
4/1
Regional Research and Development Intensity and Earnings Inequality
Susan Dadres and Donna K. Ginther examine local links between investment and inequality.
5/31
Pathbreaking CBO Study Shows Dramatic Increases in Income Disparities in 1980s and1990s:An Analysis of the CBO Data
A Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of the latest CBO income study.
6/11
Tax Burden Rising for the Rich and Not So Rich
Bruce Bartlett, writing for the Pete Dupont-founded National Center for Policy Analysis, responds in an assessment of the tax rates on the top 5%.
9/7
Why Doesn’t the U.S. Have a European-Style Welfare System?
An NBER study indicating the answer is racial animus towards African Americans; the more African Americans there are in a particular state, the less welfare spending that state will have.

2002

7/29
A Populist Phillipic
A Tech Central Station critiques the thesis of Kevin Phillips' book Wealth and Democracy.
10/20
For Richer
In a piece originally appearing in the New York Times Magazine, Paul Krugman outlines the decay of the mid-twentieth century American middle class and the threat of plutocracy. From the Unofficial Paul Krugman Archive. Here are his sources for this piece listed at his Princeton website.
Consequences of Income Distribution
Resulting debate from For Richer on Brad DeLong’s weblog.
11/7
As the Rich Get Richer, Are They Buying More?
Writing in The New York Times, Virginia Postrel focuses on the relative lack of consumption inequality amidst the consumer-driven economy.
12/13
What’s the Fate of the Great American Middle Class?
NOW with Bill Moyers on the middle class squeeze.
Transcript with commentary by Paul Krugman.
Bill Moyers on Class In America

2013

Return of the Oppressed
Peter Turchin's Aeon Magazine article on the cyclic nature of inequality.

2014

March
Kapital for the Twenty-First Century?
James Galbraith reviews Thomas Piketty's book Capital in Dissent: 
Under President Reagan, changes to U.S. tax law encouraged higher pay to corporate executives, the use of stock options, and (indirectly) the splitting of new technology firms into separately capitalized enterprises, which would eventually include Intel, Apple, Oracle, Microsoft, and the rest. Now, top incomes are no longer fixed salaries but instead closely track the stock market. This is the simple result of concentrated ownership, the flux in asset prices, and the use of capital funds for executive pay. During the tech boom, the correspondence between changing income inequality and the NASDAQ was exact, as Travis Hale and I show in a paper just published in the World Economic Review.

The lay reader will not be surprised. Academics, though, have to contend with the conventionally dominant work of (among others) Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz, who argue that the pattern of changing income inequalities in America is the result of a “race between education and technology” when it comes to wages, with first one in the lead and then the other. (When education leads, inequality supposedly falls, and vice versa.) Piketty pays deference to this claim but he adds no evidence in favor, and his facts contradict it. The reality is that wage structures change far less than profit-based incomes, and most of increasing inequality comes from an increasing flow of profit income to the very rich.
6/6
Tracing the Source of Income Inequality
Jim DiEugenio's review of Piketty at Consortiumnews.  
8/24
Where slavery thrived, inequality rules today
Boston Globe discussion of  how income inequality is augmented and outcomes for both whites and blacks are more negatively impacted in geographical areas where slavery was more predominant.

2015

2/2
The Rise in Inequality: A Young Lady or Gentleman's Illustrated Primer
Brad Delong.

2016

5/23
Karl Polanyi for President
Patrick Iber and Mike Konczal write in Dissent:
Recent research has shown that the way the economy is situated has been one of the major drivers in the growth of inequality since 1980: the rules matter. Financial deregulation drove the doubling of the share of finance workers in the top 1 percent. There was a major shift in the compensation of CEOs during this time, one that went with an engineered shareholder revolution that changed the nature of whom the firm works for. High marginal tax rates were cut, which led to skyrocketing high-end incomes. The resulting higher capital income from deregulation and weaker worker power is one of the main drivers of inequality.

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