Macroeconomics, Income Distribution, and Poverty

79 Pages Posted: 31 May 2001 Last revised: 27 Dec 2001

See all articles by Rebecca M. Blank

Rebecca M. Blank

U.S. Department of Commerce

Alan S. Blinder

Princeton University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: February 1985

Abstract

This paper investigates the impacts of macroeconomic activity and policy on the poverty population. It is shown that both the poverty count and the income share of the lowest quintile of income recipients move significantly with the business cycle. The differential impact of inflation versus unemployment on low income groups is analyzed at length.The evidence indicates that unemployment has very large and negative effects on the poor, while inflation appears to have few effects at all. In addition, changes in tax policy since 1950 have led to decreasing progressivity in the overall tax structure. Special attention is given to changes in the poverty rate over the past decade and to prospective changes in the remainder of the 1980s.

Suggested Citation

Blank, Rebecca M. and Blinder, Alan S., Macroeconomics, Income Distribution, and Poverty (February 1985). NBER Working Paper No. w1567, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=268184

Rebecca M. Blank (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Commerce ( email )

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Alan S. Blinder

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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