Does U.S. Health Inequality Reflect Income Inequality—or Something Else?
Health is an integral part of well-being. The United Nations Human Development Index uses life expectancy (together with GDP per capita and literacy) as one of three key indicators of human welfare across the world. In this post, I discuss the state of life expectancy inequality in the United States and examine some of the underlying factors in its evolution over the past several decades.
Job Ladders and Careers
Workers in the United States experience vast differences in lifetime earnings. Individuals in the 90th percentile earn around seven times more than those in the 10th percentile, and those in the top percentile earn almost twenty times more. A large share of these differences arise over the course of people’s careers. What accounts for these vastly different outcomes in the labor market? Why do some individuals experience much steeper earnings profiles than others? Previous research has shown that the “job ladder”—in which workers obtain large pay increases when they switch to better jobs or when firms want to poach them—is important for wage growth. In this post, we investigate how job ladders differ across workers.
Some Places Are Much More Unequal than Others
Economic inequality in the United States is much more pronounced in some parts of the country than others. In this post, we examine the geography of wage inequality, drawing on our recent Economic Policy Review article. We find that the most unequal places tend to be large urban areas with strong economies where wage growth has been particularly strong for those at the top of the wage distribution.
Introduction to Heterogeneity Series: Understanding Causes and Implications of Various Inequalities
Economic analysis is often geared toward understanding the average effects of a given policy or program. Likewise, economic policies frequently target the average person or firm. While averages are undoubtedly useful reference points for researchers and policymakers, they don’t tell the whole story: it is vital to understand how the effects of economic trends and government policies vary across geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic boundaries. It is also important to assess the underlying causes of the various inequalities we observe around us, be they related to income, health, or any other set of indicators. Starting today, we are running a series of six blog posts (apart from this introductory post), each of which focuses on an interesting case of heterogeneity in the United States today.
Did the Value of a College Degree Decline during the Great Recession?
In an earlier post, we studied how educational attainment affects labor market outcomes and earnings inequality. In this post, we investigate whether these labor market effects were preserved across the last business cycle: Did students with certain types of educational attainment weather the recession better?
Education’s Role in Earnings, Employment, and Economic Mobility
Amid dialogue about the soaring student loan burden, questions arise about how educational characteristics (school type, selectivity, and major) affect disparities in post-college labor market outcomes. In this post, we specifically explore the impact of such school and major choices on employment, earnings, and upward economic mobility. Insight into determinants of economic disparity is key for understanding long-term consumption and inequality patterns. In addition, this gives us a window into factors that could be used to ameliorate income inequality and promote economic mobility.
Household Consumption Mobility over the Life-Cycle
Commonly used metrics of inequality and mobility attempt to capture how household (or individual) income compares to the rest of the population and how persistent that income is over the life cycle.
However important income inequality is, it is only a partial representation of the inequality in well-being among individuals, households, counties, and other communities.
A Discussion of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century: By How Much Is r Greater than g?
Maxim Pinkovskiy describes the arguments that Thomas Piketty makes to conclude that wealth inequality will rise and that global capital taxation is needed to stop it, and offers a critical discussion of the arguments.
The Capitol Since the Nineteenth Century: Political Polarization and Income Inequality in the United States
Even the most casual observer of American politics knows that today’s Republican and Democratic parties seem to disagree with one another on just about every issue under the sun