NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Macroeconomics, Income Distribution, and Poverty

Rebecca M. Blank, Alan S. Blinder

NBER Working Paper No. 1567
Issued in February 1985
NBER Program(s):   EFG

This paper investigates the impacts of macroeconomic activity and policy on the poverty population. It is shown that both the poverty count and the income share of the lowest quintile of income recipients move significantly with the business cycle. The differential impact of inflation versus unemployment on low income groups is analyzed at length.The evidence indicates that unemployment has very large and negative effects on the poor, while inflation appears to have few effects at all. In addition, changes in tax policy since 1950 have led to decreasing progressivity in the overall tax structure. Special attention is given to changes in the poverty rate over the past decade and to prospective changes in the remainder of the 1980s.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1567

Published: Blank, Rebecca M. and Alan S. Blinder. "Macroeconomics, Income Distribution, and Poverty," Fighting Poverty: What Works and What Does Not, Sdon Danziger (ed.) Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986.

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