Unequal gains: American growth and inequality since 1700

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Average Rating
Publisher:
Princeton University Press,
Pub. Date:
c2016.
Language:
English
Description

Unequal Gains offers a radically new understanding of the economic evolution of the United States, providing a complete picture of the uneven progress of America from colonial times to today.

While other economic historians base their accounts on American wealth, Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson focus instead on income--and the result is a bold reassessment of the American economic experience. America has been exceptional in its rising inequality after an egalitarian start, but not in its long-run growth.

America had already achieved world income leadership by 1700, not just in the twentieth century as is commonly thought. Long before independence, American colonists enjoyed higher living standards than Britain--and America's income advantage today is no greater than it was three hundred years ago. But that advantage was lost during the Revolution, lost again during the Civil War, and lost a third time during the Great Depression, though it was regained after each crisis. In addition, Lindert and Williamson show how income inequality among Americans rose steeply in two great waves--from 1774 to 1860 and from the 1970s to today--rising more than in any other wealthy nation in the world. Unequal Gains also demonstrates how the widening income gaps have always touched every social group, from the richest to the poorest. The book sheds critical light on the forces that shaped American income history, and situates that history in a broad global context.

Economic writing at its most stimulating, Unequal Gains provides a vitally needed perspective on who has benefited most from American growth, and why.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 3743a5a2-804f-b586-9466-b3193ed4d437
full_title unequal gains american growth and inequality since 1700
author lindert peter h
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-06-24 11:13:25AM

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physical xvii, 398 pages ; 25 cm.
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series Princeton economic history of the Western world
series2 The Princeton economic history of the Western world
series_with_volume Princeton economic history of the Western world
subject_facet Economic development -- United States -- History, Income distribution -- United States -- History, United States -- Economic conditions, Wealth -- United States -- History
table_of_contents Persistent debate, a new approach, more data, rich findings -- Colonial incomes on the eve of the Revolution -- When did Colonial America get rich? -- Losing the lead : the cost of revolution and independence -- Unequal economic growth, 1800-1860 -- The Civil War : growth lost, freedom gained, inequality maintained -- Contending forces : American incomes across the late nineteenth century -- The greatest leveling of all time -- Rising inequality once more, since the 1970s -- Inequality and growth : history lessons for the future -- Appendix A. A guide to the 1774 and 1800 income estimates -- Appendix B. Salaries, payment in kind, and workdays -- Appendix C. Estimating slaves' retained earnings, Colonial times to 1860 -- Appendix D. American versus British prices, 1640-1875 -- Appendix E. A guide to the 1860 income estimates, and some modifications for 1850 -- Appendix F. A guide to the 1870 income estimates -- Appendix G. Farm operators' incomes in 1870 -- Appendix H. Sources and notes to tables and figures in main text.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title Unequal gains : American growth and inequality since 1700
title_display Unequal gains : American growth and inequality since 1700
title_full Unequal gains : American growth and inequality since 1700 / Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson
title_short Unequal gains :
title_sort unequal gains american growth and inequality since 1700
title_sub American growth and inequality since 1700