Gilded Age 2.0: U.S. Income Inequality Increases to Pre-Great Depression Levels

February 14, 2019  —  By

Income inequality in the U.S., which has steadily been increasing since the 1980s, has reached levels last seen in the years just before the Great Depression, according to a recent economic analysis.

In a paper authored by UC Berkeley economics professor Gabriel Zucman and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Zucman determined that in 1929, just before the Wall Street Crash that helped precipitate the Great Depression, the top 0.1% richest adults’ share of total household wealth was close to 25%. During the Depression and World War II, the share of the top 0.1% declined until it “reached its low-water mark in the 1970s,” the paper said.

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