2Economic Inequality in the United States Money income equals market income plus cash payments to households by the government.Market income = wages, interest, rent, and profit earned by the household in factor markets, before paying income taxes.
3Economic Inequality in the United States The Distribution of IncomeFigure 19.1 shows the distribution of income across the million households in the United States in 2009.
4Economic Inequality in the United States The mode income is the most common income and was about $22,000.The median income is the level of income that separates the population into two groups of equal size and was $49,777.The mean income is the average income and was $67,976.
5Economic Inequality in the United States A distribution in which the mean exceeds the median and the median exceeds the mode is positively skewed, which means it has a long tail of high values.The U.S. distribution of income is positively skewed.
6Economic Inequality in the United States A common way to summarize income inequality is the quintile (by fifths) distribution of incomeFigure 19.2 shows the distribution of income shares for the United States in 2009.
7Economic Inequality in the United States The poorest 20% of households received only 3.4% of the total income.The middle 20% received 14.6% of total income.The richest 20% received 50.2% of total income.
8Economic Inequality in the United States The Income Lorenz CurveThe income Lorenz curve graphs the cumulative percentage of income earned against the cumulative percentage of households.
9Economic Inequality in the United States The vertical axis plots the cumulative percentage of income.The horizontal axis is the cumulative percentage of households.
10Economic Inequality in the United States If everyone has the same income, the income Lorenz curve is a 45 degree line from the lower left corner to the upper right corner.This line is called the line of equality.The Lorenz curve shows the distribution of income.
11Economic Inequality in the United States The Distribution of WealthA household’s wealth is the value of all the things that it owns at a point in time.The distribution of wealth is another way of examining the degree of economic inequality.
12Economic Inequality in the United States A wealth Lorenz curve measures the distribution of wealth.The distribution of wealth is even more unequally distributed than income.
13Economic Inequality in the United States Wealth or Income?Wealth is a stock of assets at a point in time.Income is a flow of earnings over a period of time .Because the distribution of wealth excludes human capital, the distribution of income is a more accurate measure of economic inequality.
14Economic Inequality in the United States Trends in InequalityGini ratio = the ratio of blue area to the red area in the two figures below.
15Economic Inequality in the United States With perfect equality, the Lorenz curve is the line of equality and the Gini ratio is zero.
16Economic Inequality in the United States With the most extreme inequality—one person has all the income—the Lorenz curve runs along the axes and the Gini ratio is one.
17Economic Inequality in the United States The closer the Gini ratio is to one, the more unequal is the distribution of income.In 2009, the U.S. Gini ratio was a bit more than 0.46.
18Economic Inequality in the United States Figure 19.5 shows the U.S. Gini ratio from 1970 to 2009.The Gini ratio shows that the distribution of income in the United States has become more unequal.Despite the change in the definition in 1992, the trend is still visible.
19Inequality in the World Economy Figure 19.6 illustrates some extremes and the U.S. Lorenz curves.
20Inequality in the World Economy Global Inequality and Its TrendsThe global distribution of income is much more unequal than the distribution within any one country.Of the world population:50 percent live on $2.50 a day or less; 30 percent live on between $2.50 and $10 a day.That is, 80 percent of the world population is very poor.The average American has $115 a day.
21Inequality in the World Economy World Gini RatioThe global distribution of income is becoming less unequal.Despite individual countries are becoming more unequal, incomes in poorer countries are rising faster than incomes in rich countries.
22What caused economics inequality? No one actually distributes income in our societyThe distribution of income is the product of supply of and demand for productive servicesAn activity is productive if it enables people to obtain something for which they’re willing to pay
23What caused economics inequality? The income that resource owners can receive is created by the demand for the services of those resources.Resources are scarce, but scarcity is not the same as rarity.“People become wealthy by satisfying others’ demand.”Resources are scarce. Scarcity is not the same as rarity. You may have the rare ability of lick your nose, but people don’t have the demand for that and that ability is of no value to other people. Value is determined by both supply and demand
24What caused economics inequality? Income distribution depends fundamentally on the ownership of productive resources“The distribution of income depends on the prior distribution of wealth”The production of productive resources is investment. Wealthy people have more opportunities to invest, which generate more income
25Matthew Effect“For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” —Matthew 25:29The phenomenon where "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer".“Assortative mating” makes wealth more concentrated.
26Winner-Take-All Markets Small differences in performance give rise to enormous differences in reward. Outcome: Important professions like teaching and engineering in aching need of more talent.Paying similar amount of money, people will definitely choose superstars (e.g. Mozart, Pavarotti’s CDs). Long familiar in, this payoff pattern has increasingly permeated law, finance, fashion, publishing, and other fields.
27What can we do? Human capital is an important component of wealth The most readily portable form of wealthExplains why propsering ethnic minorities often obtained high levels of educationIncreased demand for more highly skilled and more extensively schooled workers imply the importance of human capital
28Satisfy other people’s demand Invest in human capital How to become rich?Satisfy other people’s demandInvest in human capitalSuccessful people seldom think of how to earn big money. They focus on how to solve current problems and challenges, how to contribute to the society
29Income Redistribution Three main ways:1. Progressive Income taxes2. Income maintenance programsSocial Security programsUnemployment compensationWelfare programs3. Subsidized servicesHealth care, education
30Income Redistribution -- The Big Tradeoff Big tradeoff between equity and efficiencyThree reasons for inefficiency:Resources are used that could have otherwise been used for producing goods and services.Taxes generate a deadweight loss.Decreases the incentives for taxpaying workers to provide labor