Has U.S. Income Inequality Increased?

Policy Forum
January 11, 2007 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring Alan Reynolds, Cato Institute; Diana Furchtgott‐​Roth, Hudson Institute; and Gary Burtless, Brookings Institution.

Presentation Graphs

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The media often report that U.S. income inequality has increased steadily in recent decades. Pundits and policymakers have decried the apparent rise in the share of national income going to those at the top. But has inequality really increased? In a recent book, Income and Wealth, and new Cato study, Alan Reynolds takes a close look at the data on incomes and finds serious flaws in the way those data are being used to track trends over time. He will discuss why he believes that there is little evidence that U.S. income inequality has increased, at least since the late 1980s.

Reynolds will be joined by two of the nation’s top scholars on income trends and income inequality. Diana Furchtgott‐​Roth is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor. Gary Burtless is the John C. and Nancy D. Whitehead Chair in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and has written numerous books on income trends, globalization, welfare programs, and other topics.