Questions tagged [inequality]

Differences in resource allocations or opportunities that arise within or between countries.

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26
votes
1answer
444 views

How do Gini coefficients correlate with the cost of higher education?

Are there any studies that explore the higher net present value (NPV) of education in countries with higher Gini coefficients? Additionally, do any of these studies include the impacts of economic ...
18
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2answers
4k views

Is the Occupy Wall Street famous 1% stable?

Occupy Wall Street has a famous slogan "we are the 99%", refering to the "fact" that 1% of the people in the US take nearly the quarter of the national income. However, this does not seem to consider ...
18
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5answers
2k views

Why are real median household incomes stagnant?

This image shows US real median household income. It seems remarkable for its lack of growth over the last 20 years. This has been the subject of much political debate (around the "1%" and "occupy ...
13
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2answers
5k views

Where can I find data on income and social mobility over time? How far back is data available?

I'm interested in income and social mobility. I understand that Piketty's research deals with the the distribution of income over a long time period. I have also seen some of Chetty and Saez's ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Has the world become poorer?

This question is not backed by serious economic research but mainly by a very simple attempt to look at how the world economy has changed. I am asking whether and why the world has, over the past 50 ...
9
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3answers
317 views

Causes of income inequality in the US

I read an article in BusinessWeek that talked about income inequality in the US. The article attributed the difference to the Intel chip that came in 1971. Since that time big hi-tech companies have ...
9
votes
1answer
440 views

Piketty's Return on Capital

How exactly does Piketty et al's method (as in his book) for computing the interest rate over time and countries work? I know that they use reported tax returns, and that some criticize them for also ...
8
votes
2answers
329 views

Does economic theory support the notion that the wealth of the wealthy is based on the poverty of the poor?

Almost any discussion about poverty and wealth and income inequality at some point includes arguments based on the premise that the wealth of the wealthy is causally related to the poverty of the poor;...
7
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1answer
150 views

Differing Inflation Rates for Separate Income Groups; Literature?

So here's a few ideas that have been floating around my head since undergraduate university. It seems that money owned by the highest net wealth owners is always moving around and making a return, but ...
6
votes
6answers
431 views

Reconciling low wages with high technology and high education

This is one example of many recent doom storied prognosticating that the "millennial" generation will be the first in (recent) history to experience lower incomes than their predecessors—at least in ...
5
votes
1answer
317 views

Has US real median personal/household income been stagnant since the late 1970's/early 1980's?

This is referring to an earlier question: Why are real median household incomes stagnant? How do the following graphs actually tell you that US real median personal/household income has been stagnant ...
5
votes
1answer
753 views

Are there data for the evolution of global economic inequality

Please excuse my ignorance of economics. I recently learned about the Gini-Coefficient as a measure of the economic inequality in a country. I have since seen several plots of this coefficient over ...
5
votes
2answers
115 views

Is inequality increasing? Does it correspond to increasing social harm?

I have a series of related questions. My understanding is. Economic wealth (ie. GDP) per capita is increasing around the world. We can refer to this as 'the pie is getting bigger'. At the same ...
5
votes
4answers
328 views

How is money created?

This might seem like a really simple question, but I am really troubled by it on a macro scale. The money has to come from somewhere. Someone might start up a business that creates things or takes ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

Allocative efficiency — correlation between MB and p in populace with wealth inequality

I was reading a paragraph in an economics textbook that was talking about resource allocation, and felt that it missed an important point, leading to a conclusion that I disagreed with. I was hoping ...
4
votes
3answers
158 views

Is the development of “developing countries” evidence against the idea that former colonial powers owe their headway to exploitation?

There is a recurring narrative (especially but not exclusively in left-leaning circles) that today's "developed nations", particularly Western former colonial powers, owe much of their wealth and ...
4
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2answers
107 views

Is the standard of living of poor & middle class people higher than in the past?

I really hope this is not opinion based. I am just looking for numbers, links, straightforward proof if possible that the lifetime we are in now, this decade, most of us are living better than in the ...
4
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5answers
449 views

Have automation and technological advance been shown to have a positive impact on society and the economy or a negative one?

My friends and I, 2 of which are computer science majors think it is worse because is humans can't work and thus afford necessities, how will they survive? The definition of automation: the use of ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

Can capital still be paid its marginal product in the absence of a homogeneous capital stock?

Thomas Piketty's best-selling book on inequality, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" has attracted a lot of criticism on the right for its data analysis. Less well-known, however, is the criticism ...
4
votes
0answers
57 views

Post-redistribution Lorenz curve comparison with reranking in R

Using R, assume the population income for N= {1.. 7} looks like $X_1$= c(1,3,5,7,7,19,21). Use the Lc() function from the "ineq" package to plot the corresponding Lorenz curve $L_{X_1}(p_1)$. Next, ...
3
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2answers
238 views

Who really benefits from economic growth?

In recent social protests, I have heard the claim that the economic growth benefits only the rich: they become richer while most people become poorer. To check whether this claim is realistic, I ...
3
votes
2answers
133 views

Why does Denmark have such a huge disparity between its income and wealth Gini coefficients?

(After-transfer) income inequality and wealth inequality are obviously not the same thing, but I would intuitively expect that, all else equal, they would be reasonably well correlated across ...
3
votes
0answers
39 views

Is there a theoretical basis for any popular income- or wealth-distribution model?

When modelling income or wealth, we probably want a continuous distribution with a lower bound; statisticians have named many, but Pareto and log-normal distributions have been among the most ...
3
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0answers
39 views

Has the shrinking of the American household improved or diminished household welfare?

Over the last fifty years U.S. average household size has declined dramatically. When making within-year comparisons of household income, it is regarded as good practice to adjust for adult-equivalent ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

Calculating Gini Coeffecient

What's the fastest way (or formulae) of manually calculating Gini Coefficient of equal-sized bin income data? Example: No of individuals in group: 4 4 4 4 4 Income of each group: 1 2 3 4 5 ...
2
votes
4answers
131 views

Is wealth inequality actually a problem

I have been searching around online, but cannot really find an answer to my question. I can find a lot of material covering wealth inequality and how it has developed over time, but haven’t found any ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Is income inequality decreasing? [closed]

Mr. Yaron Brooks from the Ayn Rand Institute argues that global income inequality is decreasing. True/false?
2
votes
2answers
203 views

Is worsening wealth inequality intrinsic to Capitalism?

I am but a humble lay person, but I have a question. I've been thinking about wealth inequality and the structure of capitalism. It seems to me that the pay rate for workers accumulates in a linear ...
2
votes
2answers
172 views

Could the upper quintile pay the annual federal personal income tax for all other quintiles from their annual income?

I am wondering if, in theory, the upper quintile (20% of earners in the U.S.) could pay the annual federal tax bill for all quintiles from their annual income? I have been looking at 2013 CBO data ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Gini index vs Herfindahl index: one increases while the other decreases

I am comparing two vectors of values which indicate portfolio weights in monetary units at two different dates. I wanted to quantify if the concentration in the portfolios changed. So I moved on with ...
2
votes
2answers
644 views

Measure combining growth and distribution of income

A frequently used measure of economic progress is GDP growth. (There are alternative economic indicators as well, such as the Human Development Index.) But there are problems with GDP growth. For ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

What do we know about the causes of global income inequality?

According to the IMF, the GDP per capita in the USA is about \$57,000 per year. In many central African countries the figure is more like \$500 or less. These examples are indicative of the incredibly ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Measuring inequality at the zip code or county level in the United States?

I am trying to calculate a statistic for inequality at the zip code or county level in order to merge with another data set. I am using IRS SOI data, but the data given is returns by AGI bin (i.e., 1-...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Looking for an article in Behavioral Economics about Inequality

I have been searching for an article that I know exists, but somehow am unable to find. The article is about an economic game where participants are assigned to a group, and can observe how much ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

In what way specifically are US CEO's able to engage in rent-seeking and exploit corporate governance to increase compensation?

I've seen videos where Prof. Stiglitz mentions CEO compensation associated with rent-seeking: https://youtu.be/b7wIw1VNjSk?t=29m58s https://youtu.be/heOVJM2JZxI?t=41m28s I looked on the web and saw ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

Dimensional analysis for the qdf/quantile function corresponding to the pdf/CDF for the size distribution of income

I have previously posted a very similar question on Stackoverflow, but based on responses there I have decided that the real nub of my question is economic. I will give a longish introduction, mainly ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

When a country collects data for calculating the Gini index, do they usually neglect single household?

OECD data for South Korea is based on the numbers provided by Statistics Korea, which does not count single household family income data in their statistics. I am just curious that neglecting single ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Two good sources (books preferably) that show the leading and most reasonable arguments for/against “trickle down economics”?

I was raised by fairly conservative parents and throughout my childhood have had the impression that Reagan was the standard candle to which all policy should be held to and in particular Reaganomics ...
2
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0answers
24 views

Is there an income inequality metric which also considers the total income?

I'm trying to compare some data I have about two companies, and in order to do so I need to compare their income inequality, but also to take in consideration the total income of each. For example if ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Has any research found that automation will decrease inequality?

A paper by IMF researchers (but not an official position of the IMF) has found that automation will lead to higher inequality under all scenarios they considered. Even in the scenario where robots ...
2
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0answers
55 views

What would happen if there was a one-time redistribution of wealth from the wealthiest 1% to the other 99% of people in the US? [closed]

If you think this is going to lead to answers which are too speculative, let me know, but I think it should be possible to at least make some strong educated guesses... What would happen if there was ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

How many of the world's workers are producing luxury vs necessary goods?

Has there been any scholarship done on the proportion of producers producing high-end vs low-end goods? This could also be framed as the proportion of economic activity generated by wealth excess of a ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

Is there proof that today more than 50% of the lowest income society lives worse than 50 years ago

The Economist on 12.11.2016 number (first number after getting US election results) wrote: "In real terms median male earnings are still lower than they were in the 1970s. In the past 50 years, ...
2
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0answers
69 views

Income Inequality as an indicator of wealth

My employer has assigned me the project of trying to understand where our current and potential International Private Banking clients are, and where they are moving to. To understand this, we are ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Hypothetical question: Percentage change in Federal income tax revenue in United States if Gini Index = 0?

Gini index = 0 refers to an economy where gross income has been redistributed so that all income earners in the United States received the same income, equal to the most current measure of the mean (...
2
votes
2answers
131 views

If America's economy collapsed what would happen to all of the citizens? What if the whole global economy collapsed? [closed]

My journalism professor is not an expert in finance or economics but has studied history. She is always giving us a negative lecture on the America's economy and how the rich are taking al of the ...
2
votes
1answer
179 views

What is the correct economic term for beneficial “transaction frequency”?

I am not an economist but I am trying to track down and understand an economic principal (and/or theory) that I think is called "transaction frequency" but when I go searching on that term I find only ...
2
votes
2answers
151 views

Has income inequality ever been solved in societies in the past in terms of what people make to cost of living? [closed]

One thing I've seen many on here whether life style is increasing or poor's wealth is, income inequality in terms of things like food, water, healthcare keep going up, but wages aren't keeping up. ...
1
vote
2answers
893 views

Determining the Gini Coefficient in a 2 person economy [closed]

In a 2-person economy, the owner of a firm pays 20% of the total output to the worker. What is the Gini coefficient in this economy? The answer is supposed to be 3/5 but I end up getting 3/10 ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

Productivity and wages in a task-based model

In a task-based model like the one developed in Acemoglu&Autor 2011 with two types of worker, can the low type have a higher wage with respect to the high type? More specifically: if the ...