Week 12: Poverty, inequality, welfare and crime

Lecture recording


Lecture notes

Tutorial readings

Required readings:

  • Timothy Noah, The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It, Bloomsbury, 2012, The Introduction and Chapter.
  • Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, Winner-take-all politics : how Washington made the rich richer--and turned its back on the middle class, New York : Simon & Schuster, 2010.


  • Bruce Western and Jake Rosenfeld, “Unions, Norms, and the Rise in US Wage Inequality,” American Sociological Review, 76(4), 2011.
  • Brendon O’Connor, A Political History of the American Welfare System (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003). Chapter 10


Welfare reform

Marginal Tax Rates

Gini coefficient US


Income distribution

Academic evidence

Wealth inequality

Social problems in the USA

Poverty and inequality

Poverty in 2014

Child Poverty

Inequality: US v Europe

Income mobility and place

Comparative inequality statistics

Great article on tax avoidance