This study is one of a series commissioned by the American Enterprise Institute on trends on the level and distribution of U.S. wages, income, wealth, consumption and other measures of material welfare. The issues addressed in the series involve much more than dry statistics: they touch on fundamental aspirations of the American people — material progress, widely shared prosperity, and just reward for individual effort — and affect popular understanding of the successes and shortcomings of the private market economy and of particular government policies. For these reasons, discussions of “economic inequality” in the media and political debate are often partial and partisan as well as superficial. The AEI series is intended to improve the public discussion by bringing new data to light, exploring the strengths and weaknesses of various measures of economic welfare, and highlighting important questions of interpretation, causation, and consequence.
Each study in the series is presented and discussed in draft form at an AEI seminar prior to publication by the AEI press. Marvin Kosters, director of economic policy studies at AEI, organized the series and moderated the seminars. A current list of published studies appears on the last page.
President, American Enterprise Institute
Income Inequality and I.Q. .pdf file