Over the last forty years, rising national income has helped reduce poverty rates, but this has been accompanied by an increase in economic inequality. While these trends are largely attributed to technological change and demographic shifts, such as changing birth rates, labor force patterns, and immigration, public policies have also exerted a profound affect on the welfare of Americans. In Public Policy and the Income Distribution, editors Alan Auerbach, David Card, and John Quigley assemble a distinguished roster of policy analysts to confront the key questions about the role of government policy in altering the level and distribution of economic well being.
Public Policy and the Income Distribution tackles many of the most difficult and intriguing questions about how government intervention—or lack thereof—has affected the incomes of everyday Americans. Rebecca Blank analyzes welfare reform, and presents systematic research on income, poverty rates, and welfare and labor force participation of single mothers. She finds that single mothers worked more and were less dependent on public assistance following welfare reform, and that low-skilled single mothers had no greater difficulty finding work than others. Timothy Smeeding compares poverty reduction programs in the
The twentieth century was remarkable in the extent to which advances in public policy helped improve the economic well being of Americans. Synthesizing existing knowledge on the effectiveness of public policy and contributing valuable new research,Public Policy and the Income Distribution examines public policy's successes, and points out the areas in which progress remains to be made.
ALAN J. AUERBACH is Robert D. Burch Professor of Economics and Law at the
DAVID CARD is Class of 1950 Professor of Economics at the
JOHN M. QUIGLEY is I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor and professor of economics at the
CONTRIBUTORS: Rebecca M. Blank, Dora L. Costa, Janet Currie, Gary V. Engelhardt, Jonathan Gruber, Matthew E. Kahn, Steven Raphael, Emmanuel Saez, Jonathan Skinner, Timothy M. Smeeding, Weiping Zhou.