How Deprivation and the Threat of Violence Made Sweden Equal

War and the Great Depression Spurred Its Embrace of the Welfare State

Sweden is almost universally regarded as a bastion of sensible people, temperate social policies, and steady, evenly distributed economic growth. So it surprises many to learn that the Scandinavian country only got to be this way in the last century, and that the catalyst was violent upheaval: two world wars and the Great Depression.

Economic inequality has always been with us, and when you observe a dramatic market compression you can always link it to a disastrous event. These events come in four flavors: intense popular military mobilization, violent and …

More In: income inequality

Obama’s Unsung Legacy in the War on Income Inequality

As Clinton and Trump Try to Out-Populist Each Other, the Obama Administration Gets No Credit for Its Impressive Efforts to Boost Economic Equality

You’d never know, from this year’s presidential campaign rhetoric, that anyone in Washington has been paying any attention to economic inequality. Donald Trump has hijacked the Republican Party with his …

How Opening a Savings Account Can Close the Racial Wealth Gap

With Modest Public Investment, Low-Income Families Can Build a Financial Cushion Against a Recession or Medical Emergency

Like many economists who care about American families struggling to make ends meet, I spend a good amount of time thinking about how parents can earn more income to give …

Who Can Afford Organic Kale on the Minimum Wage?

Income Has a Huge Impact on a Person's Health—And it Will Take More Than Exercise and Good Nutrition to Change That

It’s no secret that how much money you make can affect how healthy you are. At an event co-sponsored by the California Wellness Foundation, the audience in a packed auditorium …

Let’s Relearn To Share the Loot

Timothy Noah Talks About Growing Income Inequality In the United States—and What To Do About It

Is America’s growing income inequality an inevitable product of capitalism and global trends? New Republic editor Timothy Noah, author of The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We …

Don’t Sweat the Squalor?

Five Leading Economists Reflect On Whether American Wealth Disparity Is Inherent to the American Way


We all know that income inequality in the United States has grown. A few of us, if we’re especially bookish and wonky, can even cite terms like “Gini coefficient,” a …