Poverty and Income Distribution

ISBN-10: 1405176601
ISBN-13: 9781405176606
Edition: 2nd 2009
Authors: Edward N. Wolff
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Book details

List price: $91.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/31/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 672
Size: 7.75" wide x 9.75" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 2.904
Language: English

Edward N. Wolff is Professor of Economics at New York University.

Preface
Introduction: issues and scope of book
Recent trends in living standards
Income and earnings stagnate while poverty remains unchanged
Inequality rises sharply
Middle class debt explodes
What has happened to tax rates?
Rising profits is the key
Yet schooling has continued to rise
Some conclusions
Causes of rising inequality
Skill-biased technology change
The shift to services
Declining unionization
Globalization
Downsizing and outsourcing
Public policy changes
Plan of the textbook
Part I.Inequality, poverty, and mobility: measurement and trends
Income, earnings, and the standard of living
Introduction
The composition of personal income in the United States
Measuring the standard of living
Real versus nominal
Real versus nominal
Trends in living standards in the U.S
Factor shares
Historical studies on factor shares*
International comparisons of living standards
Per Capita income
The Human Development Index
Household production and well-being*
Defining household work
The market cost approach
The opportunity cost approach
Empirical work on household production
Summary
References, bibliography, and data sources
Discussion questions and problem set
An introduction to the national income and product accounts*
The relation to the national accounts
The sources of personal income
The derivation of factor shares
Miscellaneous issues in national accounting
Treatment of international trade
National income at factor costs
The treatment of capital gains
Income inequality: Its measurement, historical trends, and international comparisons
Introduction
Review of basic statistics
Mean, variance and standard deviation
Distributions
Percentile ranking
Inequality measures
Concentration measures
Coefficient of variation
The Lorenz curve
Gini coefficient
Log variance of income*
The Theil entropy index*
Atkinson's measure*
Lorenz dominance*
Time trends in income inequality in the United States
International comparisons of inequality
Inequality comparisons among high-income countries
The Kuznets curve
The world distribution of income*
Summary
References and bibliography
Discussion questions and Problem Set
Poverty: Definitions and historical trends
Introduction
The measurement of poverty
The official U.S. poverty standard
Absolute versus relative poverty thresholds
Subjective poverty lines
Formal derivation of the Leyden poverty line*
Other concepts of poverty
Measurement of poverty incidence
The poverty rate and the poverty gap ratio
Composite measures of poverty
Poverty trends in the U.S
Composition of the poor
Other dimensions of poverty
Poverty spells and the permanence of poverty
The underclass
International comparisons of poverty rates
Other Issues in the measurement of poverty
Equivalence scales
Choice of a price index
The treatment of taxes
The treatment of non-cash government benefits
The role of household wealth
Consumption-based measures of poverty
Choice of the accounting period
Other issues
Summary
References and bibliography
Discussion questions and problem set
Household wealth
Introduction
What is household wealth?
Wealth and well-being
Marketable wealth
Other definitions of household wealth
Historical time-series data on household wealth and its composition
Trends in average wealth
Changes in wealth composition
Homeownership rates
Wealth inequality in the United States
Methods used to estimate wealth inequality
Estate tax data
Household survey data
Income capitalization techniques
Wealth tax data
Long-term trends in household wealth inequality in the U.S
Comparisons with income inequality
Movements in stock and housing prices
Changes in wealth inequality, 1962-2004
Changes in average wealth holdings
Trends in wealth inequality
Portfolio composition by wealth and age class
Relation between income and wealth
The Forbes 400
International comparisons of household wealth distribution
Comparisons of long-term time trends
Comparisons of recent trends
Summary
References and bibliography
Discussion questions and problem set
Economic Mobility
Introduction
Mobility measures
Measuring intergenerational mobility
The Shorrocks measure and other measures of lifetime mobility
Standard measures
More advanced mobility indices*
Mobility over time
Income mobility
Earnings mobility
Other dimensions of mobility
Intergenerational mobility
Results for the United States
Mechanisms of transmission
International comparisons
Wealth mobility
Summary
References and bibliography
Discussion questions
Explanations of inequality and poverty
The labor force, employment, and unemployment
Introduction
Basic concepts of the labor force, employment, and unemployment
Employment
Unemployment
The labor force
Estimating employment statistics
Labor force participation rates (LFPR
LFPR by gender, race, and age
Two-earner households
Educational attainment of the labor force
The industrial and occupational composition of employment
Measures of unemployment and historical trends
The incidence of unemployment
Jobless rates by demographic characteristic
Unemployment by industry, occupation, and region
Types of unemployment
Frictional unemployment
Seasonal unemployment
Structural unemployment
Deficient demand (Keynesian) unemployment
The debate over the causes of unemployment
Summary
References and bibliography
Discussion questions
The role of education and skills
Introduction
The human capital model
The rate of return to human capital
The internal rate of return
On-the-job training
Additional implications of the human capital model
Basic assumptions of the model
A theory of relative earnings
Policy implications
The formation of an equilibrium in the human capital model*
Earnings, schooling and experience
Rates of return to schooling
Policy implications
Lifetime earnings
The Schooling-earnings function*
The extended earnings function*
Ability and earnings
Estimates of the ability effect*
The nature vs. nurture controversy
Productivity and earnings
Experience, productivity, and earnings
Other interpretations of the relation between schooling and earnings
Education as a screening device
Family background
Schooling as a socializing mechanism
Earnings inequality and human capital*
Summary and concluding remarks
References and bibliography
Discussion questions and problem set
Unions, dual labor markets and structural models of earnings
Introduction
The role of labor unions
A brief history of trade unionism in the U.S
The formation of the American Federation of Labor (AFL
The Great Depression and its aftermath
Trends in union membership
The decline in trade unionism
The economic role of labor unions
Union organization
Collective bargaining
Strikes and other union weapons
Labor market impact of trade unions
Marshall's rules*
The effect of unions on wages: the evidence
The "threat effect"
Inequality of earnings
Segmented labor markets
Internal labor markets
The structure of internal labor markets
Rationale for internal labor markets
The dual labor market model
Rationale for a secondary labor market
The make-up and consequences of the secondary labor market
Extensions of the dual labor market model
An evaluation of labor market segmentation
Industrial composition and earnings inequality*
State and regional differences in inequality
Regional differences in income levels
Industrial composition and rising earnings inequality in the 1980s
Industry wage differentials*
Explanations of inter-industry wage differences
The later literature
The effects of firm and plant size
Recent trends and efficiency wage theory
Occupational wage differentials
Historical studies
Trends in the U.S. in the twentieth century
Rising skewness at the top
Summary
References and bibliography
Discussion questions
The role of savings and intergenerational transfers in explaining wealth inequality
Introduction
The basic life cycle model
Age-wealth profiles
Longitudinal analyses*
Simulation and regression analysis*
Extensions of the life cycle model
The role of uncertainty about death and lifetime annuities
The role of pension and Social Security wealth
The bequest motive
Precautionary savings and liquidity constraints
Intergenerational equity
Social Security annuity and transfer wealth
Private intergenerational transfers
Generational accounting
Summary and overall assessment
References and bibliography
Discussion questions
Sources of rising earnings inequality*
Introduction
Skill-biased technological change
The IT �Revolution�
Growing international trade and immigration
The shift to services
Institutional factors
Outsourcing and downsizing
Changes in the distribution of schooling and ability
Time trends in key explanatory variables
Econometric results
Summary and concluding remarks
References and bibliography
Appendix 11.1 Data Sources and Methods
Discrimination
Discrimination: meaning, measurement, and theory
Introduction
The meaning of discrimination
The Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition*
Pre-labor market discrimination
Theories of discrimination: an overview
Taste for discrimination
Statistical discrimination
The racial stigma model
The Marxian model
Overcrowding model of occupational segregation
Summary
References and bibliography
Racial discrimination: progress and reversal for African-Americans
Introduction
Trends and status report on racial inequality
The earnings gap: have African-American workers made gains on whites?
Changes over time
Labor force participation and unemployment
Family income, poverty, and wealth
Hispanics
Migration from the South
Progress in educational attainment
The role of educational gains on the earnings gap*
Quality of schooling*
Returns to schooling for blacks and whites*
Hispanic Americans*
Changes in family structure among African-Americans
Public policy and discrimination
Public policy programs
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, 1954
Executive order 10925, 1961
Equal Pay Act, 1963
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Executive Order 11246, 1965
The Effectiveness of the anti-discrimination programs
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Affirmative action programs
Summary and conclusion
References and bibliography
Discussion questions and problem set
The gender wage gap and occupational segregation
Introduction
The wage gap and labor force participation trends
Time trends
Labor force participation patterns
Explanations of the rising LFPR of women*
Explanations of the wage gap
Human capital differences
Differences in experience
Schooling differences
Effects of human capital differences on the gender wage gap*
Effects of work interruption on earnings*
Occupational segregation
Duncan and Duncan index
Occupational segregation and the change in the gender wage gap
Explanations of occupational segregation
The role of public policy
Effectiveness of the anti-discrimination programs
Comparable worth
Other Issues*
Effects of wives' earnings on family income inequality
The feminization of poverty
International comparisons
Summary
References and bibliography
Discussion questions and problem set
The role of public policy on poverty and inequality
Public policy and poverty alleviation
Introduction
A brief history of income maintenance programs
Early developments
The New Deal
Post-war developments
Housing assistance
Public expenditures on major federal programs
Unemployment Insurance (UI
A brief description of the UI system
Time trends in UI benefits
Incentive effects of the UI system
The Social Security system
Determination of the Social Security benefit
Incentive effects on labor supply
The welfare system
The workings of AFDC and TANF
Incentive effects of the welfare system
Labor supply effects
Welfare participation rates
Marital status and child-bearing
Other issues
Work Programs
Effectiveness of the jobs programs
The minimum wage
Conclusion and overall assessment of government programs
Effects on poverty
Proposals for reform
References and bibliography
0 Discussion questions and problem set
The redistributional effects of public policy
Introduction
Equality as a social goal
Arguments in favor of promoting equality
Arguments against promoting greater equality
The Structure of tax systems
Proportional, progressive, and regressive tax structures
Inequality measures and the tax system
Vertical versus horizontal equity
Distributional consequences of the American tax system
Tax schedules for the personal income tax
Effective tax rates for the personal income tax
The payroll tax
Other federal taxes
State and local government taxes
The overall tax bite?
International comparisons of taxation
The overall effective tax rate structure in the United States
The negative income tax and the EITC
The distributional effects of government expenditures
Summary and conclusion
References and bibliography
Discussion questions and problem set
Index
Note: * Section contains more advanced material or special topics that may be omitted without losing continuity in the book

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