ERIC Number: ED363427
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Jun-23
Reference Count: N/A
Has Growing Income Inequality Come to an End?
The Gini index of household income indicates that, after rising for the past 2 decades, the inequality of income distribution in the United States stabilized between 1987 and 1991. This paper examines this apparent stabilization to determine whether other measures can corroborate the Gini index and to identify any changes in underlying factors associated with rising inequality. Following an introduction, section II of the paper examines economic, social, and demographic trends from 1987 to 1991 which also indicate a stabilization in income distribution, including: (1) a stabilization of the nation's wage structure; (2) a reduction in the trade deficit; (3) a slowdown in the trend toward declining union membership; (4) a raise in the minimum wage; (5) a reduction in the growth of single parent households; and (6) the 1990-91 recession, which affected white collar workers particularly severely. Section III discusses sources and analysis of household income data, while section IV examines selected measures of inequality from 1979 to 1991 to provide a context for the recent stabilization. This section also examines changes in the distribution of wages and earnings from 1979 to 1991 as an underlying factor of household income distribution, indicating that while earnings ratios were increasing for both age and education-level groups in the 1980s, the ratio changed very little for age groups between 1987 and 1991. Tables and 28 references are included. (BCY)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Bureau of the Census (DOC), Suitland, MD.