Chapter

Understanding These Changes

Rebecca M. Blank

in Changing Inequality

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780520266926
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950191 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520266926.003.0005
Understanding These Changes

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This chapter examines the reasons behind the changes in the distribution of total income and discusses what they might mean for overall well-being among American adults. It explores the effects of changing family composition and family size, as well as the effects of shifts in the distribution of earning and other income components. It notes that about three-quarters of the increase in inequality in the overall distribution of income occurred because of increases in the inequality of income components—primarily, increases in annual earnings inequality. It explains that this, in turn, occurred due to the increases in wage inequality.

Keywords: total income; income distribution; American adults; family composition; family size; income components; annual earnings inequality; wage inequality

Chapter.  7592 words. 

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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