Climate Change and Economic Inequality

Climate change in the U.S. could help the rich and hurt the poor, By Brady Dennis, June 29, 2017, Washington Post: “Researchers have long warned that unmitigated climate change could cause severe financial hardship to the United States in coming decades. But a new study published Thursday in the journal Science details how global warming could disproportionately affect poor areas of the country, contributing to widening economic inequality among Americans…”

Black-White Income Gap

The (very) few places with no black-white income gap, By Tim Henderson, November 10, 2016, Stateline: “The income gap between black and white households has grown since 2000 and only worsened since the recession.  In 2015, the median income for black households was 59.5 percent of that for whites, or $36,544 to $61,394. That’s a greater gap than at the end of the recession in 2009, when black income was 61.2 percent of white income.  Yet, a tiny number of places exist where black household income is greater than that of whites. Of the 364 large U.S. counties whose populations are at least 5 percent black, there are seven, according to a Stateline analysis of U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey data for 2010-14…”

Inequality and the Education System

A simple equation: more education = more income, By Eduardo Porter, September 10, 2014, New York Times: “Imagine if the United States government taxed the nation’s one-percenters so that their post-tax share of the nation’s income remained at 10 percent, roughly where it was in 1979. If the excess money were distributed equally among the rest of the population, in 2012 every family below that very top tier would have gotten a $7,105 check. This is hardly trivial money. But it pales compared to the gap between the wages of a family of two college graduates and a family of high school graduates. Between 1979 and 2012, that gap grew by some $30,000, after inflation…”

Wage Inequality – OECD

OECD: Wage inequality will only get worse from now through 2060, By Mamta Badkar, July 2, 2014, Business Insider: Global wage inequality is expected rise, and economic growth is expected to slow, between now and 2060, according to a new report form the OECD. The report points out that widening earnings gap, ‘rising capital incomes (which tend to be highly concentrated), less redistributive tax and benefit systems, and changing household formation patterns,’ have all contributed to rising inequality in recent decades. ‘Rising inequalities threaten growth, most notably by blocking economic opportunities,’ according to the press release. The OECD projects that earnings inequality could grow between 17-40% by 2060. . .”

US Wealth Gap

Study: Recession and recovery widen US wealth gap, By Christopher Rugaber, June 24, 2014, Associated Press: “The Great Recession and the slow recovery have sharply widened the gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else, according to a study that underscores the unevenness of wealth gains since the recession ended. The richest 5 percent had 24 times the wealth of the median household in 2013 — up substantially from 16.5 times as much in 2007, according to a study by University of Michigan researchers. Substantial gains in the stock market have enabled richer Americans to regain much of their wealth. Stock prices had plunged by nearly half during the recession but have recovered all their losses and set new highs. And roughly 10 percent of households own 80 percent of stocks. . .”

Economic Inequality and Race

Fifty years after March on Washington, economic gap between blacks, whites persists, By Michael A. Fletcher, August 27, 2013, Washington Post: “Even as racial barriers have tumbled and the nation has grown wealthier and better educated, the economic disparities separating blacks and whites remain as wide as they were when marchers assembled on the Mall in 1963. When it comes to household income and wealth, the gaps between blacks and whites have widened. On other measures, the gaps are roughly the same as they were four decades ago. The poverty rate for blacks, for instance, continues to be about three times that of whites…”

Wealth Gap and Education

Wealth gap limits equality of educationBy Megan Woolhouse, July 5, 2013, Boston Globe: “High-income families are spending more time and money than ever on their children’s education, further widening the gulf between rich and poor students, according to a new report. High-income families have always invested more in education, but they now spend seven times more a year on average than a low-income family, up from four times in the 1970s, according to the report, coauthored by MIT economics professor Michael Greenstone. These families now spend as much as $9,000 annually on private tutoring, SAT prep courses, computers, and other activities, compared with about $1,300 for low-income families. The advantages that money can buy on tests and college applications have become so great that they threaten to undermine the American ideal of education as the great leveler that enables anyone who works hard to succeed, regardless of income level, the report said. In a knowledge-based economy that increasingly rewards education and skill, the report added, these growing educational disparities could further widen the income gap between rich and poor. . .”

 

Racial Wealth Gap

  • Study ties black-white wealth gap to stubborn disparities in real estate, By Michael Fletcher, February 26, 2013, Washington Post: “The large and growing wealth gap separating white and black families is the product of stubborn barriers that disproportionately consign African Americans to less-valuable real estate and lower-paying jobs, according to a new study. A long-term examination of the financial lives of black and white Americans revealed that African Americans typically face a subtle but persistent opportunity gap that has served to widen financial disparities remaining from a long history of overt discrimination, according to a report to be released Wednesday by Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy…”
  • Study shows racial wealth gap continues to widen, By Christine Dugas, February 27, 2013, USA Today: “Years after the civil rights movement, racial inequality continues to deepen. The wealth gap between white and African-American families has nearly tripled over 25 years, according to a study released today by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University. Although African-American family income has increased over time, white families have accumulated much more wealth. By tracking families, the study found that the gap between white and African-American family wealth increased from $85,070 in 1984 to $236,500 in 2009…”

Inequality and the Family

Economic Inequality and the Changing Family, By Jason DeParle, July 14, 2012, New York Times: “As my article this weekend about two families in Ann Arbor, Mich., points out, the widening in many measures of inequality can be traced in part to changes in marriage patterns, rather than just changes in individual earnings. A number of scholars have looked at the varied dimensions of this thesis — growing inequality, changes in family structure, and the connection between the two. Here is a look at some of their findings. On inequality: An interesting pattern over the last four decades is that inequality has grown much faster for households with children than it has for households over all — an indication that changes in family structure (as opposed to wages and employment alone) have increased inequality. Bruce Western and Tracey Shollenberger of the Harvard sociology department compared households at the 90th percentile and the 10th percentile. In 1970, the top households had 8.9 times the income of the bottom. By 2011 they had nearly 11.7 times as much. . .”