Studies of wage and income inequality among U.S. citizens over the past thirty years have engendered the common wisdom that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. But is it really that simple? In this meticulous economic study, Orazio P. Attanasio, Erich Battistin, and Mario Padula contend that the evolution of income and wage inequalities offers only a partial picture of changes in prosperity in recent decades. Studying changes in the distribution of consumption and expenditure helps to amplify this picture_income, after all, is valued in large part because it allows consumption_and yields a more complete understanding of economic well-being in America.
Inequality in Living Standards since 1980
Income Tells Only a Small Part of the Story