Two American epochs: Growing Together 1947-1979 and Growing Apart 1979-2012 (charts)

3 Apr

from David Ruccio [Documenti]



Colin Gordon, of the Telltale Chart, has combined Census data (reporting average family income by income percentiles) with the top incomes estimates of Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez and come up with the following conclusion:

the big picture is at once familiar and depressing.  Over the long postwar era (1947-2012), we see steady and shared income growth running into the 1970s—and then suddenly fanning out as the top incomes (in green) take off. Over that long half-century, incomes (in real, inflation adjusted 2012 dollars) at the 20th percentile do not quite double; those for the top .01 percent of earners grow almost tenfold.

The pattern comes into even starker relief if we look at the 1947-1979 and 1979-2012 eras separately. Across the former, a generation of broadly shared prosperity, gains are actually strongest at the bottom of the income spectrum.  Across the latter, the lowest 40 percent see net losses, the median treads water.

(Real World Economics Review Blog, October 16, 2013)

3 aprile 2014



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