The distribution of wealth in the United States from 1983 to 2004: Inequality and polarization

Conchita D'Ambrosio, Davide Fiaschi, Edward N. Wolff

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    Recent work has documented a rising degree of wealth inequality in the United States between 1983 and 1989 but little change from 1989 to 2004. In this paper, we compare the increase in the spread of the distribution with another dimension, polarization. Using alternative approaches proposed in the literature, we examine whether a similar pattern exists with regard to trends in wealth polarization over this period. Perhaps, our most notable finding is the huge increase in wealth polarization that occurred in the U.S. from 1983 to 2004, particularly from 1998 to 2004. In contrast, the Gini coefficient for household wealth shows an increase in wealth inequality from 1983 to 1989 but almost no change thereafter.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationEconomics of Wealth in the 21st Century
    PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
    Pages121-143
    Number of pages23
    ISBN (Print)9781611228052
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

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    Keywords

    • Inequality
    • Polarization
    • Wealth distribution

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
    • Social Sciences(all)

    Cite this

    D'Ambrosio, C., Fiaschi, D., & Wolff, E. N. (2011). The distribution of wealth in the United States from 1983 to 2004: Inequality and polarization. In Economics of Wealth in the 21st Century (pp. 121-143). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..