The Fall and Rise of Inequality: Disaggregating Narratives

I have a new working paper available. It will be presented at a seminar in Montreal and will most likely be modified as a result of the comments that will be made.  In the paper, I discuss the economic history of American inequality over the course of the 20th century. I argue that we must eschew broad aggregate measures of inequality since they may conceal (rather than reveal) important interpretative nuances in the analysis of the evolution of inequalities. The abstract is below and the paper can be consulted here on SSRN:

In this paper, I attempt to extend insights regarding statistical aggregates, from scholars such as Hayek (1931) and Mises (1947), to the topic of inequality. Using the work of Lindert and Williamson (2016), I show that a disaggregation of inequality into some of its many subcomponents alters our reading of its evolution. While I only work with stylized facts from the field of economic history, I argue that the promising implications derived from disaggregation militate in favour of more effort being directed toward decomposing the evolution of inequality.


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