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May 13, 2008

Paper of interest: Levy & Temin on Inequality and Institutions in 20th Century America

This is dated, but I just came across it:
Frank Levy & Peter Temin, "Inequality and Institutions in 20th Century America," MIT Dept. of Econ. Working Paper No. 07-17 (June 27, 2007).  The New America Foundation has an audio file from a panel that featured the paper.  Abstract Below:

We provide a comprehensive view of widening income inequality in the United States contrasting conditions since 1980 with those in earlier postwar years. We argue that the income distribution in each period was strongly shaped by a set of economic institutions. The early postwar years were dominated by unions, a negotiating framework set in the Treaty of Detroit, progressive taxes, and a high minimum wage - all parts of a general government effort to broadly distribute the gains from growth. More recent years have been characterized by reversals in all these dimensions in an institutional pattern known as the Washington Consensus. Other explanations for income disparities including skill-biased technical change and international trade are seen as factors operating within this broader institutional story.

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

May 13, 2008 | Permalink

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