2nd Edition

The Economics of Inequality, Discrimination, Poverty, and Mobility

By Robert S. Rycroft Copyright 2018
    420 Pages 128 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    420 Pages 128 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    If there was any question before, there is no longer a question today: inequality, discrimination, poverty, and mobility are prominent national issues. The notion of "The American Dream" has been sold to generations of young Americans as the idea that working hard and following your dreams will allow you to break through any barriers in your path and inevitably lead to success. However, recent findings on inequality, discrimination, poverty, and mobility show that "The American Reality" is very different.

    The second edition of this introductory-level text brings together the essential materials on what economists have to say about these findings and brings students up to date with current thinking. It covers several ground-shattering events, such as: the election of Barack Obama followed by Donald Trump; the passage of the Affordable Care Act and attempts to repeal it; and the publication of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, among many others. With an emphasis on data, theory, and policy, this book tackles these issues by exploring three key questions in each chapter: What do the data tell us about what has been happening to the American economy? What are the economic theories needed to understand what has been happening? What are the policy ideas and controversies associated with these economic problems?

    Key controversies are highlighted in each chapter to drive classroom discussion, and end-of-chapter questions develop student understanding. This clearly written text is ideally suited to a wide variety of courses on contemporary economic conditions, inequality, and social economics in the United States.

    Table of Contents

    Preface to First Edition

    Preface to Second Edition

    Part I Inequality

    Chapter One The Pie and How We Slice It

    Chapter Two Labor’s Slice of the Pie

    Chapter Three The Foundations of Labor’s Slice

    Chapter Four The Slices of Capital, Land, and Entrepreneurship

    Chapter Five Labor Markets That Do Not Clear

    Chapter Six Slicing the Pie in a Nondiscriminatory Pure Market Economy

    Chapter Seven Equalizing the Slices

    Chapter Eight How Big A Slice Do We Deserve?

    Part II Discrimination

    Chapter Nine Does the Slice We Receive Depend on Our Race, Gender, Ethnicity, etc.?

    Chapter Ten Detecting and Measuring Discrimination

    Chapter Eleven Reducing the Impact of Discrimination on How the Pie is Sliced

    Part III Poverty

    Chapter Twelve A Slice Too Small

    Chapter Thirteen Making Small Slices Larger

    Part IV Mobility

    Chapter Fourteen How the Size of a Slice Changes Over a Career

    Chapter Fifteen How the Size of a Slice Changes from Generation to Generation

    Chapter Sixteen The Accumulation, Distribution, and Transfer of Wealth

    Chapter Seventeen Equalizing and Enlarging the Slices




    Robert S. Rycroft is Professor of Economics at the University of Mary Washington, USA, and is currently completing his fortieth year on the faculty. He teaches courses in Poverty, Affluence, and Equality, Labor Economics, Public Finance, and Microeconomics.