Economic Inequality

How Rising Inequality Has Widened the Justice Gap

Rising inequality has harmed low-income families not only by depriving them of a fair share of society’s income growth, but also in a more specific way: It has stacked the legal system even more heavily against them. According to a recent survey, more than 70 percent of low-income American households had been involved in eviction cases, labor

China’s Racing to the Top in Income Inequality

During China’s greatest period of economic growth, fed by widespread industrialization that lifted millions out of poverty, inequality has also increased — at the fastest pace and to the highest level in the world. It may get worse. China’s Gini coefficient, 1 a widely used measure of income dispersion across a population, has risen more steeply over the last decade than

Drone photos capture the staggering inequality in Mumbai

Mumbai’s startling inequality presents itself in a variety of ways. It is visible when driving down the busy roads and from the windows of its suburban trains—swanky high-rises often stand in proximity to a sprawling network of shanties. But the clearest view of the disparity comes from up in the sky. It was from this

How the Financial Crisis Drastically Increased Wealth Inequality in the U.S.

We live in unequal times. The causes and consequences of widening disparities in income and wealth have become a defining debate of our age. Researchers have made major inroads into documenting trends in either income or wealth inequality in the United States, but we still know little about how the two evolve together — an important question to

This Chart Shows Social Security’s Growing Inequality Problem

For millions of Americans Social Security represents an economic safety net. Yet recent research shows its benefits are tilting more and more in favor of the wealthiest retirees. And it’s due to how long we live. According to new analysis from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, big gains in life expectancy among the

Explaining US income inequality by household demographics, 2017 update

The Census Bureau released its annual report yesterday on “Income and Poverty in the United States” with lots of newly updated data on household income and household demographics. Based on those new data, I present my annual post titled “Explaining Income Inequality by Household Demographics” (see my previous versions of this analysis for years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016). Most

50 years of rising income inequality has created a ‘new gilded age’ in the US

Reactions to the Great Recession like the Occupy Wall Street movement brought to national attention just how massive the wealth gap in the United States had become. Even as the economy recovered, the gap between the top 1% of earners and the rest of the population has continued to increase. This is according to an extensive

How ‘Crazy Rich’ Asians Have Led to the Largest Income Gap in the U.S.

The leads of the new romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians” are precisely what you might expect, based on the title: picture-perfect images of the immigrant success story. Viewers might even get the impression from watching the film that every Asian lives a charmed life. Nick Young (played by Henry Golding) and Rachel Chu (Constance Wu)

US government failing millions by paying below $15 an hour, study finds

The federal government employs more workers making less than $15 an hour than any other employer in the US, a new report has revealed. The study, compiled by pro-union group Good Jobs Nation, analyzed federal data and showed that the government spends more than $1.6tn on federal contractors employing more than 12.5 million people with

Retirement incomes will become more unequal, study finds

If income inequality continues to grow, so too will the gap between wealthy and struggling retirees. That's the takeaway from a new report by the Urban Institute, a progressive think tank in Washington, D.C., and funded by the Department of Labor, which analyzed how rising inequality will shape the landscape of American retirement. "People have this perception

How Apple And Beyoncé Show That Extreme Inequality Is Everywhere

We got a reminder this week of how unequal the business world is: Apple became the first company to reach $1 trillion in market value. Four more tech companies are right behind it – the MAGAs. At the reverse side of this coin, many small, non-tech companies are going bust, and people working for them lose their

We Wanted Safer Banks. We Got More Inequality.

A few years ago, one of Karen Petrou’s banking clients gave her an unusual assignment: It wanted her to write a paper laying out “the unintended consequences of the post-financial-crisis capital framework.” Petrou is the co-founder of Federal Financial Analytics Inc., a financial services consulting firm in Washington that focuses on public policy and regulatory

Where Financial Inequality Is Rampant (Infographic)

A recent OECD paper made the point that there is now widespread recognition that GDP measures or GDP per capita are insufficient when it comes to understanding households economic well-being. As a result, the research focused more on household income with a particular emphasis on income inequality. It analyzed the distribution of household wealth across 28 countries, finding

Chart that shows how much worse income inequality is in U.S.

Income inequality is a growing problem in the United States. The richest Americans have reaped a disproportional amount of economic growth while worker wages have failed to keep pace. And the $1.5-trillion Republican-passed tax cuts from December stand to make the situation worse. One chart from the 2018 World Inequality Report highlights the unique nature of income inequality in the US compared to other

Why shareholder value drives income inequality

The CEO of Domino’s Pizza takes home roughly 435 times the average full-time wage. Jeff Bezos has become the world’s richest person with a A$200 billion fortune off the backs of low-paid Amazon warehouse workers. Rampant inflation in CEO realised pay has continued unabated while wages for Australian working people have been stagnant for years. As Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe has

Why the war on poverty in the US isn’t over, in 4 charts

On July 12, President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers concluded that America’s long-running war on poverty “is largely over and a success.” I am a researcher who has studied poverty for nearly 20 years in Cleveland, a city with one of the country’s highest rates of poverty. While the council’s conclusion makes for a dramatic headline, it simply does not align

Obama on wealth inequality: “There’s only so big a house you can have.’”

Former United States President Barack Obama believes that ballooning wealth inequality is a threat to society, and that those who have the means should help those who are less fortunate. “Right now I’m actually surprised by how much money I got,” the 44th President said in his address to more than 10,000 people gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa,

Buzzwords and tortuous impact studies won’t fix a broken aid system

Development efforts over the past few decades have not been as effective as promised. Global poverty remains intractable: more than 4 billion people live on less than the equivalent of $5 (£3.80) a day, and the number of people going hungry has been rising. Important gains have been made in some areas, but many of

7 More Ways The Right And Left Enable Continued Income Inequality

In my last post, I mentioned seven ways people on the right and left hinder progress on income inequality. Here are the seven more ways that I mentioned would follow in another post. 1. We can keep growing out of our problems Expectations of constant growth are the usual solution you hear from the right and

7 Myths About Income Inequality And How We Think About It

We're a country of absolutes in attitudes. Maybe it’s a craving for simplicity and certainty, but we frequently frame problems and their potential solutions starkly. That's true for income inequality, social mobility, economic fairness, opportunity, and many related issues — innovation, education, jobs, crime, poverty, budget deficits and more. Our absolutist views become manufactured truisms.