Quarterly Review 2631

Updated Facts on the U.S. Distributions of Earnings, Income, and Wealth

Javier Díaz-Giménez
José-Víctor Ríos-Rull - Consultant
Santiago Budría Rodríguez
Vincenzo Quadrini

Summer 2002

This article uses data from the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances and from recent waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to update a study of economic inequality in the United States based on 1992 and earlier data. The article reports data on the U.S. distributions of earnings, income, and wealth and on related features of inequality, such as age, employment status, educational attainment, and marital status. It also reports data on the economic inequality among U.S. households in financial trouble and on the economic mobility of U.S. households. The article finds that earnings, income, and wealth were very unequally distributed among U.S. households late in the 1990s, just as they had been at the beginning of the decade. It concludes that the basic facts about economic inequality in the United States did not change much during the 1990s.

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