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A. Yarrow (Translation ed. by: Marina Larionova 1)
  • 1 RANEPA, 11 Prechistenskaya naberezhnaya, Moscow, 119034, Russia


2013. Vol. 8. No. 3. P. 212–218 [issue contents]

Andrew Yarrow- Senior Research Advisor, Oxfam America, США, 02114-2206, 226, Causeway St., 5th Floor, Boston, MA, USA; E-mail: research@oxfamamerica.org


The author examines evolution, factors and forms of inequality in the USA. Measures to tackle inequality are also analysed.

The USA is one of the most dynamic worlds’ economies, but income inequality in the USA is one of the highest in the world. Inequality in wages, income, and wealth has grown dramatically during the last 35 years in the United States. Today, the US is the world’s most unequal rich country, with 421 billionaires and 16,000 families with average annual incomes of USD24 million, yet 50 million Americans live in poverty, and one-third of the nation’s 310 million people struggle to make ends meet in either poverty or near-poverty. Among the G20 countries, Indonesia, Argentina, Turkey, China, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa are more unequal as measured by Gini coefficients, whereas all other G7 countries, plus Korea, Australia, and India are more equal. Unlike Brazil, Korea, Mexico, and Argentina, which have succeeded in reducing inequality since the 1990s, inequality continues to increase in the United States.

Growing inequality has been accompanied by a decline in social mobility, a number of studies found that the USA lag behind many developed European countries.

The growth of income inequality is explained by a growing demand for high-skilled workers and changes of some institutional policies on income distribution. Thus, over the last few years the rich benefited from the government policies and the middle class was diluted. Moreover, the USA education system is more accessible for the rich than the poor.

The USA government takes actions to reduce inequality through implementing progressive tax scale, providing low-cost college loans, housing assistance and child nutrition programmes. However, compared to the developed European countries, the USA social protection system is not sufficiently effective.

High priority measures to reduce inequality should include: better access to high quality education and professional training; tax reforms that simplify tax and increase the progressivity of the income tax, reduce tax evasion; imposition of a financial transactions tax; increasing the number of social protection programmes and promoting savings and assets building by lower income Americans.


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Citation: Yarrow A. (2013) Soedinennye Shtaty Ameriki [USA] INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS RESEARCH JOURNAL, 3 (in Russian)
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