The Historical Evolution of the Wealth Distribution: A Quantitative-Theoretic Investigation
Joachim Hubmer (),
Per Krusell () and
Anthony Smith ()
No 23011, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
This paper employs the benchmark heterogeneous-agent model used in macroeconomics to examine drivers of the rise in wealth inequality in the U.S. over the last thirty years. Several plausible candidates are formulated, calibrated to data, and examined through the lens of the model. There is one main finding: by far the most important driver is the significant drop in tax progressivity that started in the late 1970s, intensified during the Reagan years, and then subsequently flattened out, with only a minor bounce back. The sharp observed increases in earnings inequality, the falling labor share over the recent decades, and potential mechanisms underlying changes in the gap between the interest rate and the growth rate (Piketty's r-g story) all fall far short of accounting for the data.
JEL-codes: D14 D31 D33 E21 E25 E62 H31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-mac and nep-pbe
Note: EFG PE
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (12) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Working Paper: The Historical Evolution of the Wealth Distribution: A Quantitative-Theoretic Investigation (2017)
Working Paper: The historical evolution of the wealth distribution: A quantitative-theoretic investigation (2015)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23011
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().