Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Friday, September 2, 2011


PRESIMETRICS by Mike Kimel and Michael Kanel has been out for over a year now.  One of the points they make is that there is a great disparity between mean and median income since the 80's.  Figure 5-1 in Presimetrics graphs Real Median Income per capita and Real GDP per capita, in 2008 dollars from 1947 through 2007.  I've mentioned this before on this blog, and graphed the data in a different way.  Now, we can see an updated graph of the 1975 through 2009 data, courtesy of Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt.   The article it comes from is concerned in part with a recent paper by Anthony Atkinson, Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez (which I have yet to read.)

A point of the paper is that, while average family income grew faster in the U.S. than in France (32.2 vs 27.1% ) over the period 1975 to 2006, if one considers only the bottom 99% of the population, that cohort in France buried their U.S. counterparts (26.4 vs 17.9%.)

Not only is what the two Mikes told us right on the mark, as verified by independent sources, everyone outside of  the top 1% in the U.S. would have been far, far better off as a white-wine-swizzling, brie, frog and snail chomping Frenchie.

How about them pommes!

1 comment:

Mike Kimel said...

Sadly Presimetrics never got much traction. Thanks for mentioning it though.