Income inequality research paper

Inequality in America is getting worse. The gap between the "haves" and "have nots" is widening, according to the latest data out this week. The rich are money-making machines. That hasn't changed in over three decades.

Income inequality research paper

Download image Effects on income inequality and the distribution of gains from growth Everything else being equal, increasing top marginal tax rates would decrease after-tax income inequality by definition making the tax and transfer system more progressivebut economic research suggests such changes could also have powerful effects on pretax inequality.

As discussed above, the pretax market distribution of income has been the primary driver of inequality growth, and the federal tax and transfer system would have to be made substantially more redistributive than it was in in order to reverse the increase in post-tax, post-transfer inequality since then.

Reducing pretax inequality growth is the key to slowing post-tax, post-transfer inequality growth, although there is certainly scope to restore lost progressivity through the tax and transfer system.

Using time series regression analysis over —, Hungerford found that reductions in the top capital income tax rates and the top ordinary income tax Income inequality research paper were significantly correlated a 5.

To this point, Hungerford decomposed the roles of labor income wagescapital income, and tax policy in widening income inequality over the years —, a period in which taxes on investment income were cut substantially.

The last two are generally referred to as the Bush-era tax cuts.

Income inequality research paper

The Bush-era tax cuts introduced a percent tax bracket, reduced the top income tax rate to 35 percent, reduced other marginal income tax rates particularly for high earnersreduced the long-term capital gains tax rate from 20 percent to 15 percent, and created a new 15 percent preferential tax rate for qualified dividends previously taxed as ordinary income.

Note that in relative terms, the biggest relative swings in tax rates between and were for capital income, notably a Looking at a comprehensive measure of income including capital gains, Hungerford found that the Gini index of inequality rose from 0.

The share of business income rose from 2.


Overall, capital income—capital gains, dividends, business income, and interest income the share of which fell over this period —rose as a share of total income from The share of income going to federal taxes fell in absolute value from The share of payroll taxes fell in absolute value from The share of income inequality explained by the distribution of investment income rose from As wages fell as a share of total income, the portion of inequality explained by wage income moved in the opposite direction, falling from Meanwhile, the role of federal taxes in alleviating inequality was diminished, from a dampening effect of a Hungerford found that a 1 percent increase in taxes would have reduced the Gini index of inequality by 0.

This suggests substantially more scope for tax policy to push back against income inequality through a combination of increased tax progressivity and, more importantly, greater equity in the treatment of capital and labor income.

Income inequality research paper

Similarly, Hungerford found that the rising share of capital income—heavily concentrated at the top of the income distribution—at the expense of labor income was the single largest driver of widening income inequality between and Tax policy changes exacerbated the trend of increased post-tax income at the top of the income distribution, and the rising share of capital income was almost certainly encouraged by tax cuts for investment income.

Again, the largest relative and absolute changes in statutory tax rates over this period were decreases in the qualified dividends rate from Are tax incentives driving trends in market-based income? For households that can reclassify compensation to minimize tax liability, the relatively large reductions in tax rates on capital income, particularly after the Tax Reform Act, which equalized tax treatment of labor and investment income, has created an incentive to shift income away from wages and salaries toward capital income.

Piketty, Saez, and Stantcheva offer a theoretical framework explaining this relationship between falling top tax rates and rising inequality: Decreasing the top tax rate increases the returns to bargaining for higher wages, whereas the higher top tax rates of the s to s reduced the returns to this bargaining.

Essentially, low marginal tax rates increase the returns to rent-seeking by upper-income households i. Time series regression analysis for the United States indicates that elasticity of taxable income ETI with respect to the net-of-marginal tax rate is relatively small, in the range of 0.

Their regression analyses suggest that the behavioral response to lower top tax rates is one that exacerbates income inequality without increasing overall economic activity.

And if a portion of the ETI with respect to the net-of-marginal tax rate reflects such bargaining behavior, the revenue-maximizing total top labor income tax rate may be as high as 83 percent Piketty, Saez, and Stantchevaimplying a revenue-maximizing top marginal federal income tax rate of roughly 80 percent Fieldhouse a.According to the research I found, income inequality is connected to corruption, trade, wages of workers, and education.

Empirical Analysis of Factors Affecting Income Inequality - This paper empirically analyses the factors affecting income inequality in 15 developed and developing economies over the period of to Evidence from a. This paper presents income shares, income inequality, and income immobility measures for all race and ethnic groups in the United States using the universe of U.S.

tax returns matched at the individual level to U.S. Census race data for – Whites and Asians have a disproportionately large. INCOME INEQUALITY AND POVERTY It is no question that there is a disparity between the haves and the have-nots.

There is a gap between the rich and the poor. The disparity between the rich and everyone else is larger than ever in the United States and increasing in much of Europe. Why? Income inequality hinders economic opportunity and innovation. The. of Income Inequality The causes of income inequality in the United States came from many reasons and years; it affected the States a lot for generations.

Researches have been made a . This paper offers an overview of the interplay between declining upward mobility and growing political inequality, which we show is a self-reinforcing phenomenon.

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