U.S. Inequality: The Basics and Not-So-Basic

Presented by Abigail Wozniak

Inequality in earnings among US workers has increased dramatically since the 1970s. This has had significant impacts on the distribution of resources across American families and even communities. These shape the environments our children grow up in, and may have consequences for the next generation’s workplace readiness. This seminar will present an overview of how economists think wages are determined in the marketplace along with a summary of the foundations and the recent frontiers in economic research on US earnings inequality. We will also discuss what researchers think they know and don’t know about the causes and consequences of rising inequality.

About Abigail Wozniak

Abigail Wozniak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Notre Dame, working primarily in the field of labor economics. Her research has examined migration between states and cities as well as employer compensation and screening policies. Professor Wozniak is currently a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany. Over 2014-2015, she served as Senior Economist to the White House Council of Economic Advisers, working on labor economics issues. She was a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University in 2008-09. She is a graduate of Harvard University (PhD) and the University of Chicago (AB). She is a Wisconsin native and a former Associate Economist at the Chicago Federal Reserve. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,The Huffington Post, Businessweek, and other outlets.