The Evolution of Economic Inequality in the United States, 1969-2012
Evidence from Data on Inter-industrial Earnings and Inter-regional Incomes

James K. Galbraith, J. Travis Hale


This paper provides measures of earnings inequality in the United States across economic sectors, measured within states, from 1969 through 2012, and of income inequality across counties, from 1969 through 2007. These measures permit detailed decomposition of changes in inequality, highlighting the major gainers and losers in relative terms. They illustrate the roles played by the financial sector, by the technology boom, by war-time public spending and by the real estate bubble in driving the evolution of economic inequality in the United States.

Published on 5 Feb 2014 in World Economic Review No 3, 2014