An inequality problem-or a growth problem?
Inequality and Economic Policy draws from a 2014 Hoover Institution conference on inequality in honor of Gary Becker to explore various measures of inequality in America and address the issue of why it is increasing. In looking at this question and examining policy implications, the authors draw on research on human capital and intergenerational mobility. They attempt to answer the key policy question of what to do, with particular attention paid to those at the bottom of the income distribution and the overall effects on economic growth.
Does the United States have an inequality problem? Or should policy makers focus instead on America's growth problem? What do we know empirically about the results of previous attempts to reduce inequality? Would government policies that reduce inequality boost growth or hinder it? Clear answers to these questions are crucial if we are to make sense of the current debate about inequality.
Tom Church is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He studies income inequality, poverty, health care policy, entitlement reform, and immigration reform.
Chris Miller is a research associate at the Hoover Institution, where he studies inequality, mobility, labor markets, and economic policy.
John B. Taylor is the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He chairs the Hoover Working Group on Economic Policy.