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America's Inequality Trap$
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Nathan J. Kelly

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226665474

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226665641.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 30 July 2021

An Inescapable Plutocracy?

An Inescapable Plutocracy?

(p.10) Two An Inescapable Plutocracy?
(p.iii) America’s Inequality Trap

Nathan J. Kelly

University of Chicago Press

This chapter theoretically and empirically defines an inequality trap as a situation in which increasing levels of inequality make future reductions in inequality less likely. A theoretical account of feedback between economic and political inequality is developed which, in contradiction to theoretical approaches to democracy through pluralism, is rooted in relative power theory that emphasizes strong connections between economic and political power. The chapter then conducts time series analysis using Vector Autoregression to present initial evidence that rising inequality (as measured by top income shares) feeds back on itself in a manner that is consistent with the idea of an inequality trap. The chapter then summarizes the remaining chapters of the book.

Keywords:   pluralism, relative power, time series, inequality, top income shares

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