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Manual The Politics of Income Inequality in the United States

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They may also suffer unequal treatment or discrimination due to their status as poor people.

Causes of income inequality in the United States

The persistence of these problems and of poverty in the United States, which can afford to do far more to address them, is unconscionable. Our work aims to investigate the intersections between rights violations and poverty in the United States and advocate for reforms that will end them.


  1. Income inequality in the United States - Wikipedia.
  2. - The Washington Post.
  3. A Brief History of Income Inequality in the United States;
  4. The Politics of Income Inequality in the United States.
  5. What Does America's Top 5% Think About Income Inequality?.

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Income Inequality in the United States

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America’s Surprising Views on Income Inequality

It's one of the biggest socioeconomic questions in America today: Why is income inequality rising in the United States, especially between the top 10 percent of workers and everybody else? Gordon and Ian Dew-Becker provide a comprehensive survey of seven aspects of rising inequality that are usually discussed separately: changes in labor's share of income; inequality at the bottom of the income distribution, including labor mobility; skill-biased technical change; inequality among high income groups; consumption inequality; geographical inequality; and international differences in the income distribution, particularly at the top.

They conclude that changes in labor's share of income play no role in rising inequality of labor income: by one measure, labor's income share was almost the same in as in However, there are gender differences in income inequality: between and , for example, the income gap between women working for the median wage the 50th percentile and low-earning women at the 10th percentile grew much more than it did for men at those income levels during the same period.

That suggests that the decline in the real value of the minimum wage over that time played a causal role, the authors argue. That's not surprising, in one sense, since women are, roughly speaking, twice as likely to work for the minimum wage as men are. If women were more affected by the minimum wage, men bore the brunt of the decline in unionization over the least three decades, the survey finds.


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  • Poverty and Economic Inequality | World | United States | Human Rights Watch.
  • The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality.
  • One study the authors cite suggests that the fall in organized labor's share of the workforce can explain 14 percent of the rise in the variance among male wages between and but it had no apparent effect on the variance of female wages. There is little evidence on the effects of imports. And, the ambiguous literature on immigration implies a small overall impact on the wages of the average native-born American, a significant downward effect on the wages of high-school dropouts, and a potentially large impact on previous immigrants who work in occupations in which immigrants specialize.

    The authors introduce two new issues, disparities in the growth of price indexes and in life expectancy between the rich and the poor. They cite evidence that between and the life expectancy of the bottom 10 percent of earners increased at only half the rate of the top 10 percent.

    Income Inequality in the U.S. Is Rising Most Rapidly Among Asians | Pew Research Center

    The most controversial section of the survey looks at the question of why the rich have gotten so much richer. In a study, the authors found that the top 10 percent of earners saw their share of overall income rise from 27 percent in to 45 percent in But that study also documented that fully half of that increase came from the relative gains made at the very top of that spectrum - those at the 95th percentile and above. That study also distinguished between "superstars," whose incomes were market-driven, and CEOs, whose incomes were "chosen by their peers. Their point: income inequality is growing even among the top 10 percent of earners as the superstars and CEOs increase their pay faster than lawyers and investment bankers.

    The Past, Present and Future of US Income Inequality with Valerie Ramey

    But at least the pay of the superstars, lawyers, and investment bankers is market-driven. The pay of CEOs is not. Their review of the CEO debate places equal emphasis on the market, in showering capital gains through stock options, and an arbitrary management-power hypothesis based on numerous non-market aspects of executive pay. The trend was caused in equal parts by arbitrary pay decisions by corporate boards and by the showering of stock options on CEOs, they conclude.