9 New Findings On Inequality In The USA.
The Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s Working Paper 2016-12 on Distributional National Accounts by Thomas Piketty, Professor of Economics at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, and Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, both Professors at University of California, Berkeley, indicated that although the average pre-tax national income per adult has increased 60% since 1980, it has stagnated for the bottom 50% of the distribution at about $16,000 a year. The pre-tax income of the middle class—adults between the median and the 90th percentile—has grown 40% since 1980, faster than what tax and survey data suggest, due in particular to the rise of tax-exempt fringe benefits. However, income has boomed at the top: in 1980, top 1% adults earned on average 27 times more than bottom 50% adults, while they earn 81 times more today. The upsurge of top incomes was first a labour income phenomenon but has mostly been a capital income phenomenon since 2000. The government has offset only a small fraction of the increase in inequality. The share of women, however, falls steeply as one moves up the labour income distribution, and is only 11% in the top 0.1% today. Although this study addressed specific issues in income inequality in the USA, generally, it had been replicated in other advanced economies worldwide.
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