Sobre a estagnação de rendimentos da classe média

Sobre desigualdade, uma entrada que vale a pena ler: A brief history of middle class economics, por Jason Furman. O artigo está cheio de factos estilizados muito interessantes para quem segue o assunto.

Starting in 1973 and running through 1995, two of the three factors that had been driving middle-class incomes derailed. Labour productivity growth slowed dramatically to only 1.4% annually, in part due to the exhaustion of pent-up innovations from WWII, reduced public investment, dislocations associated with the breakup of the Bretton Woods international monetary system, and the oil shocks of the 1970s. Not only did the economy grow more slowly in these years, but these smaller gains were distributed increasingly unequally – the share of national income that went to the top 1% nearly doubled, while the share that went to the bottom 90% fell accordingly. As a result, productivity gains did not boost middle-class incomes, and average income in the bottom 90% declined by 0.4% a year during these years. One important factor that prevented a larger fall in middle-class incomes was greater labour force participation. The share of dual-income households rose as women surged into the labour force even faster than in the Age of Shared Growth.

Some alternative and likely more accurate measures of middle-class income show slight increases during these years. Real median household income as measured by the Census Bureau rose by 0.2% a year from 1973 to 1995. And after including employer-paid health premiums and adjusting for changing family size, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that median income climbed 0.4% a year, and 0.7% a year after taxes and transfers. But regardless of how it is measured, middle-class income growth clearly slowed dramatically over this period.

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