Drawing from a 2014 Hoover Institution conference on inequality in memory of Gary Becker, a group of distinguished contributors explore various measures of inequality in America and address the issue of why it is increasing. Does the United States have an inequality problem? Should public policy play a role in shaping the income distribution? Do we face a trade-off between equality and growth?

The authors of these essays address those questions with new data and economic models. They assess changing trends in inequality and draw conclusions for public policy. Key areas of focus and debate include the role played by human capital and government policy in driving shifts in income inequality and intergenerational mobility. The authors pay particular attention to those at the bottom of the income distribution and the overall effects on economic growth. 

Download PDFs of individual chapters below.


By Tom Church, Chris Miller, and John B. Taylor
By James Piereson
By Joshua D. Rauh
By Charles I. Jones
By Jörg L. Spenkuch
By Casey B. Mulligan
By Kevin M. Murphy and Emmanuel Saez
By John H. Cochrane, Lee E. Ohanian, and George P. Shultz
By Edward P. Lazear and George P. Shultz
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