The following is a short list of resources to get you thinking about the essay question. A lot of information on economic inequality is available, and this list shouldn’t be considered exhaustive, but a starting point. Remember, creative research will be rewarded, so a trip to your library could pay off.
Heathcote, Johnathan, Fabrizio Perri, and Giovanni Violante. “Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States, 1967-2006” Review of Economic Dynamics. Vol. 13, No. 1, January 2010. pp. 15-51.
Piketty, Thomas. Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014.
Arrow, Kenneth, Samuel Bowles and Steven Durlauf (eds.). Meritocracy and Economic Inequality. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.
Cowen, Tyler. Average is Over. New York: Penguin Group, 2013.
Frank, Robert H. “The Vicious Circle of Income Inequality.” New York Times. January 12, 2014.
Porter, Eduardo. “A Relentless Widening of Disparity” New York Times. March 11, 2014.
Yglesias, Matthew. “Everything You Need to Know about Income Inequality.” Vox.com. May 7, 2014.
Lowrey, Annie. “The Wealth Gap in America is Growing, Too.” New York Times. April 2, 2014.
Clement, Douglas. “Interview with Glenn Loury.” The Region. June 2014: 12-25.
Chetty, Raj, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez and Nicolas Turner. The Equality of Opportunity Project.
Perri, Fabrizio. “Inequality, Recessions and Recoveries.” The Region. April 2014: 5-27.
Jacobs, Lawrence and Desmond King (eds.). The Unsustainable American State. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Stiglitz, Joseph. “Inequality is not Inevitable.” New York Times. June 27, 2014.