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April 1989, Vol. 112, No. 4
Sources of increasing inequality in wages and salaries, 1960-80
W. N. Grubb and R. H. Wilson
Interest in the distribution of income waxes and wanes. Concern intensified during the 1960's with the "rediscovery" of poverty and the initiation of the War on Poverty. It diminished during the 1970's, as other economic difficulties commanded the Nation's attention. Evidence that the distribution of income had been relatively stable during the post-World War II period tended to make the issue even less pressing.
During the 1980's, however, distributional questions have become more prominent. According to some analysts, evidence has accumulated that the distributions of income and earnings have become more unequal. The possible consequences-increasing poverty, more demands on government programs, a growing underclass, the decline of the middle class, political instability, a generation of children with inadequate education-would be serious, and would affect almost every public and private institution in the country.
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