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A collection of twenty-three studies that explore the latest developments in the analysis of income and wealth distribution and mobility.
Economic research is increasingly focused on inequality in the distribution of personal resources and outcomes. One aspect of inequality is mobility: are individuals locked into their respective places in this distribution? To what extent do circumstances change, either over the lifecycle or across generations? Research not only measures inequality and mobility, but also analyzes the historical, economic, and social determinants of these outcomes and the effect of public policies. This volume explores the latest developments in the analysis of income and wealth distribution and mobility. The collection of twenty-three studies is divided into five sections. The first examines observed patterns of income inequality and shifts in the distribution of earnings and in other factors that contribute to it. The next examines wealth inequality, including a substantial discussion of the difficulties of defining and measuring wealth. The third section presents new evidence on the intergenerational transmission of inequality and the mechanisms that underlie it. The next section considers the impact of various policy interventions that are directed at reducing inequality. The final section addresses the challenges of combining household-level data, potentially from multiple sources such as surveys and administrative records, and aggregate data to study inequality, and explores ways to make survey data more comparable with national income accounts data.
About the Author
Raj Chetty is the William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University, director of Opportunity Insights, and a research associate and director of the Public Economics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
John N. Friedman is professor of economics and international and political affairs at Brown University and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Janet C. Gornick is professor of political science and sociology, director of the Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality, and holds the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Distinguished Chair in Socio-Economic Inequality at the City University of New York.
Barry Johnson is deputy chief data and analytics officer and director of the Statistics of Income Division at the Internal Revenue Service.
Arthur Kennickell is a Stone Center Affiliated Scholar at the City University of New York and a member of the board of directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research.