Class Structure and Economic Inequality

Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 487

42 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2007

See all articles by Edward N. Wolff

Edward N. Wolff

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Bard College - Levy Economics Institute

Ajit Zacharias

Bard College - Levy Economics Institute

Date Written: January 2007

Abstract

Existing empirical schemas of class structure do not specify the capitalist class in an adequate manner. We propose a schema in which the specification of capitalist households is based on wealth thresholds. Individuals in noncapitalist households are assigned class locations based on their position in the labor process. The schema is designed to address the question of the relationship between class structure and overall economic inequality. Our analysis of the U.S. data shows that class divisions among households, especially the large gaps between capitalist households and everyone else, contribute substantially to overall inequality.

Keywords: Class Analysis, Living Standards, Inequality

JEL Classification: B51, D31, P16, Y80

Suggested Citation

Wolff, Edward N. and Zacharias, Ajit, Class Structure and Economic Inequality (January 2007). Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 487, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=956092 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.956092

Edward N. Wolff (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Bard College - Levy Economics Institute

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Ajit Zacharias

Bard College - Levy Economics Institute ( email )

Blithewood
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United States
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845-758-1149 (Fax)

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