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Any Way You Cut It: Income Inequality on the Rise Regardless of How it's Measured

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Publication Date: September 2000

Publisher(s): Economic Policy Institute

Author(s): Chauna Brocht; Lawrence Mishel; Jared Bernstein

Topic: Economics (Property and wealth)

Type: Brief


The Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities recently published a joint report called Pulling Apart: A State By State Analysis of Income Trends (Bernstein et. al. 2000), which showed that income inequality--the gap between those at the top, middle, and bottom of the income scale--has grown significantly throughout the past two decades and remains higher than at any other time in the post-war era.

This report was by no means the first to make these observations. Since inequality began climbing sharply in the 1980's, it has become the focus of much research in economics. Nevertheless, the report, which examined the growth of inequality at the state level, reminded those interested in this issue that inequality continued to grow, albeit more slowly, in the much praised "new economy" of the 1990's.