Income inequality has steadily increased in the United States since the census bureau began officially accounting for it in 1967. Over thirty-percent of American income has been concentrated with the top 5% of income earners since 1976. This study examines the notion that education expenditures have an equalizing effect on income inequality. Based on a panel dataset of fifty states over twenty years from 1986-2005, this research examines the effect of total current education expenditures and sector specific expenditures on the Gini-coefficient. A fixed effects regression model, applied with lagged expenditure data, shows that education only reduces income inequality in the long-run.
Public college affordability has been decreasing alongside social mobility, while income inequality has been increasing. This thesis explores the interrelations between these three themes in a greater systems framework and attempts to clarify where the United States’ economy is heading. This thesis proposes a four step methodology for understanding these interrelations and creatively constructs a measure of affordability from the perspective of the average student across the variables tuition, financial aid, government appropriations, and median income. By examining these variables within this measure of affordability, this research is able to contextualize macro trajectories of many economic variables to better understand the present economic situation. The data for all of the variables comes from four sources: College Board, Grapevine Illinois, FRED, and the Census Bureau. This thesis concludes by stating that these themes are indeed part of a multidimensional system, but are not causal predictors of each other.
Imports from China have grown over 1,156% since 2001. Increasing imports have partially caused the US export and manufacturing job decline. This study uses an ARDL model to deduce if trading with China contributes to the widening US income gap, as well as the discrepancy between Black and white unemployment rates. A second model utilizes commuting zone-based trade and technology exposure data from Autor, Dorn, and Hanson (2015) to evaluate the effects of trade and technology exposure, college education, gender, and CZs African American population on manufacturing job loss. The key addition to previous models is the racial factor. Results indicate that international trade disproportionally impacts unskilled laborers, affirming findings from prior economic studies. This study also found international trade disproportionally contributes to Black unemployment in comparison to white unemployment.