Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Income Security Policy Series
Economic Policy | Economics | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Public Policy
The 1980s have been characterized as a time when the “rich got richer and the poor got poorer.” Using a cross-over point methodology used in several recent studies, we show how sensitive the measurement of winners and losers can be to seemingly small differences in methodological practice. Specifically, we show sensitivity to the years compared, the income sharing unit chosen, and the inflation index used. Our results show that these and other studies of economic well-being exaggerate losses by mixing cyclical with cross-cycle effects
Burkhauser, Richard V.; Crews, Amy D.; and Daly, Mary C., "Recounting Winners and Losers in the 1980s: A Critique of Income Distribution Measurement Methodology" (1996). Center for Policy Research. 403.
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