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Growing Income Inequality

J. Bradford DeLong

February 2001

1997 inflation-adjusted dollars. From a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of IRS data.

  • IRS data suggest that income inequality in the United States continued to rise in the 1990s.
  • By 1997 the average tax return in the top 1% of filers had a larger multiple of the after-tax income of the average in the bottom 90% of filers than had ever been seen before.
  • Other data sources suggested that the upward leap in inequality in America stopped in the 1990s. The IRS data suggest otherwise.
  • Welcome to the new Gilded Age.

Professor of Economics J. Bradford DeLong, 601 Evans Hall, #3880
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
(510) 643-4027 phone (510) 642-6615 fax

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