Trends in US Spatial Inequality: Concentrating Affluence and a Democratization of Poverty
AbstractWe use Bureau of Economic Analysis, census, and Current Population Survey data to study trends in income inequality across US states and counties from 1960–2019. Both states and counties have diverged in terms of per capita pretax incomes since the late 1990s, with transfers serving to dampen this divergence. County incomes have been diverging since the late 1970s. These trends in mean income mask opposing patterns among top- and bottom-income quantiles. Top incomes have diverged markedly across states since the late 1970s. In contrast, bottom-income quantiles and poverty rates have converged across areas in recent decades.
CitationGaubert, Cecile, Patrick Kline, Damián Vergara, and Danny Yagan. 2021. "Trends in US Spatial Inequality: Concentrating Affluence and a Democratization of Poverty." AEA Papers and Proceedings, 111: 520-25. DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20211075
- D31 Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
- D63 Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- I32 Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
- R11 Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
- N32 Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: U.S.; Canada: 1913-