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Keywords:inequality 

Briefing
Inequality in and across Cities

Inequality in the United States has an important spatial component. More-skilled workers tend to live in larger cities where they earn higher wages. Less-skilled workers make lower wages and do not experience similar gains even when they live in those cities. This dynamic implies that larger cities are also more unequal. These relationships appear to have become more pronounced as inequality has increased. The evidence points to externalities among high-skilled workers as a significant contributor to those patterns.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue October

Discussion Paper
Unequal Distribution of Delinquencies by Gender, Race, and Education

Once again, we utilize multivariate regression analysis and present bar charts for the regression coefficients of interest; these show the correlations between demographics, educational outcomes, and debt delinquencies, controlling for factors such as immigration and visa status, type of high school attended, year of entry to CUNY, and whether a student has a disability, is economically disadvantaged, or is an English language learner. The charts shown below are split into two panels: the upper panel represents results for students who enter CUNY for an associate (AA) degree, while the lower ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20211117b

Working Paper
Firms as Learning Environments: Implications for Earnings Dynamics and Job Search

This paper demonstrates that heterogeneity in firms’ promotion of human capital accumulation is an important determinant of life-cycle earnings inequality. I use administrative micro data from Germany to show that different establishments offer systematically different earnings growth rates for their workers. This observation suggests that that the increase in inequality over the life cycle reflects not only inherent worker variation, but also differences in the firms that workers happen to match with over their lifetimes. To quantify this channel, I develop a life-cycle search model with ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-036

Working Paper
The Piketty Transition

We study the effects on inequality of a "Piketty transition" to zero growth. In a model with a worker-capitalist dichotomy, we show first that the relationship between inequality (measured as a ratio of incomes for the two types) and growth is complicated; zero growth can raise or lower inequality, depending on parameters. Extending our model to include idiosyncratic wage risk we show that growth has quantitatively negligible effects on inequality, and the effect is negative. Finally, following Piketty?s thought experiment, we study how the transition might occur without declining returns; ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1432

Discussion Paper
A Discussion of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century: By How Much Is r Greater than g?

Thomas Piketty’s 2014 book Capital in the Twenty-First Century may have been a greater sensation upon publication than Karl Marx’s nineteenth-century Das Kapital. It made the New York Times bestseller list, generated myriad reviews and responses from economists at top institutions, and was the subject of a standing-room-only session at the recent American Economic Association annual meeting. In Capital, Piketty argues that wealth inequality is set to rise from its relatively low levels in the 1950s through the 1970s to the very high levels it once occupied at the dawn of the Industrial ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150713b

Working Paper
On the Heterogeneous Welfare Gains and Losses from Trade

How are the gains and losses from trade distributed across individuals within a country? First, we document that tradable goods constitute a larger fraction of expenditures for poor households. Second, we build a trade model with nonhomothetic preferences?to generate the documented relationship between tradable expenditure shares, income, and wealth?and uninsurable earnings risk?to generate heterogeneity in income and wealth. Third, we use the calibrated model to quantify the differential welfare gains and losses from trade along the income and wealth distribution. In a numerical exercise, we ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-06

Working Paper
Insurance and Inequality with Persistent Private Information

This paper studies the optimal tradeoff between insurance and inequality in economies with persistent private information.We consider a principal-agent model in which the principal insures the agent against privately-observed shocks to his endowment, which follows an ergodic finite-state Markov chain that may exhibit arbitrary serial correlation. The optimal contract always induces immiseration: the agent’s consumption and utility become arbitrarily negative in the long run. When the endowment is positively serially correlated, the optimal contract provides increasingly high-powered ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-020

Working Paper
Intergenerational Health Mobility in the US

Studies of intergenerational mobility have largely ignored health despite the central importance of health to welfare. We present the first estimates of intergenerational health mobility in the US by using repeated measures of self-reported health status (SRH) during adulthood from the PSID. Our main finding is that there is substantially greater health mobility than income mobility in the US. A possible explanation is that social institutions and policies are more effective at disrupting intergenerational health transmission than income transmission. We further show that health and income ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2018-2

Working Paper
How Important Is Health Inequality for Lifetime Earnings Inequality?

Using a dynamic panel approach, we provide empirical evidence that negative health shocks reduce earnings. The effect is primarily driven by the participation margin and is concentrated in less educated individuals and those with poor health. We build a dynamic, general equilibrium, life cycle model that is consistent with these findings. In the model, individuals whose health is risky and heterogeneous choose to either work, or not work and apply for social security disability insurance (SSDI). Health affects individuals’ productivity, SSDI access, disutility from work, mortality, and ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2021-1

Working Paper
Trends in poverty and inequality among Hispanics

Since the 1970s, the poverty rate has remained largely unchanged among Hispanics but has declined among non-Hispanic whites and blacks, particularly before the onset of the recent recession. The influx of large numbers of immigrants partially explains why poverty rates have not fallen over time among Hispanics> ; In 2009, Hispanics were more than twice as likely to be poor than non-Hispanic whites. Lower average English ability, low levels of educational attainment, part-time employment, the youthfulness of Hispanic household heads, and the 2007?09 recession are important factors that have ...
Working Papers , Paper 1109

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