The purpose of this class is twofold. First, to teach you about economic inequality, some of its causes, and how it is affected by policy. Second, to teach you econometric methods that have been used in the literature on economic inequality, which will help prepare you to conduct your own research on this or related topics, perhaps in an undergrad thesis. You are required to write a research paper for this class. We will focus on mechanisms affecting income inequality, such as racial discrimination, (de)unionization, minimum wages, shifts in labor demand due to changes in technology and trade, shifts in labor supply due to migration, intergenerational transmission of economic status, and taxation. We will briefly talk about the historical evolution of income and wealth inequality, as well as about international inequality; mostly, however, we will focus on mechanisms affecting the distribution of incomes in the United States.
To access the complete syllabus, please click on the online version of Empirical Research on Economic Inequality syllabus.