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PUBLICATIONS > Working Papers > Working Paper: Money and Morale: What Growing Inequality is Doing to Americans' View of Themselves and Others

Working Paper: Money and Morale: What Growing Inequality is Doing to Americans' View of Themselves and Others
A review of leading indicators of subjective well-being reveals that the affluent feel better than the middle class and much better than the poor, that the income gaps on three indicators grew wider over time, that the income gap on one other probably increased as well, and that affluent and poor alike became significantly less trusting of their fellow citizens. The evidence indicates that the poor closed some of the gap on one key indicator – health – but that gain was made early on, before 1980. Furthermore, income has become more salient for two indicators of how people see their place in American society. These trends are linked to rising inequality because the affluent have better outcomes on all these things and the gap between the affluent and poor has widened on most of them. The affluent have benefited more from changes since inequality began to rise or become dissatisfied slower than the poor have over this time period.


Publication file

/rsfcensus/papers/Morale_Working_Paper.pdf

related projects

USA: A Century of Difference-A Russell Sage 2000 Census Project

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