The Demography of Inequality: Income, Consumption, and Wealth

Jonathan Fisher, Stanford University
David Johnson, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Timothy M. Smeeding, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jeffrey Thompson, Federal Reserve Board

We use three data sets to measure the demography of inequality in the U.S. from 1984 through 2010, using the Consumer Expenditure (CE) Survey, the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Using these data, this paper explores the intersection of income, consumption, wealth and demographics, focusing on longer-term trends (since 1989).

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Presented in Session 212: The Measurement and Demography of Poverty