Inequality, Consumption, & Happiness

Release Date
March 1, 2011


Poverty & Inequality

From the IHS Vault: How well-off are we? Using economic data, economics professor Steve Horwitz addresses questions about inequality, consumption, happiness, and well-being. Are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? Is there income mobility in the United States? Are Americans happy? Are we “objectively” better off than we used to be? This lecture was taped in 2010 at the IHS summer seminar, “Morality, Capitalism, & Freedom” at Wake Forest University.

  • Consumption and Income Inequality in the U.S. [Article]: Bruce Meyer and James Sullivan show that both the level and pattern of inequality are sensitive to how inequality is measured.
  •  The Fallacy of Income Stagnation (Video):Thomas Sowell argues that rhetoric often confuses statistical categories with real people over time when talking about income.
  • Income Inequality and Fairness [Audio]: Will Wilkinson contends that political arguments over income inequality and fairness actually obscure more important discussions.
  • Income Distribution [Article]: Library of Economics and Liberty discusses different topics falling under the broad category of income distribution, and provides links to further research.
  • The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce [Book]: Deirdre McCloskey explains that the average citizen today lives in comfort that only the very rich could afford until recent history.