Inequality and Poverty in United States: The Effects of Rising Dispersion of Men's Earnings and Changing Family Behaviour

24 Pages Posted: 8 May 2006

See all articles by Mary C. Daly

Mary C. Daly

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Robert G. Valletta

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Using semiparametric density estimation techniques, we analyse the effect of rising dispersion of men's earnings and related changes in family behaviour on increasing inequality in the distribution of family income in the United States. For the period 1969-1989, the growing dispersion of men's earnings and changing family structure can account for most of the rise in family income inequality. By contrast, the increase in labour force participation by women offset this trend. Inequality grew at a slower rate in the 1990s than in earlier decades, largely because of stabilization in the relative earnings of men from low-income families.

Suggested Citation

Daly, Mary Colleen and Valletta, Robert G., Inequality and Poverty in United States: The Effects of Rising Dispersion of Men's Earnings and Changing Family Behaviour. Economica, Vol. 73, No. 289, pp. 75-98, February 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=877957 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2006.00449.x

Mary Colleen Daly (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco ( email )

101 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Robert G. Valletta

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco ( email )

101 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States
415-974-3345 (Phone)
415-977-4084 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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