Summary and Concluding Thoughts: The Persistence of Wealth Inequality

  • Livio Di Matteo


Wealth inequality is driven by complex interacting forces and the outcome of economic change. The long-term trend in wealth inequality is for it to be pushed up by the forces of economic growth and industrialization in line with a Kuznets curve type story, but mitigating factors can pull it back down as during the twentieth century. Along with increased unionization rates, there were government policy factors such as estate taxation and the fostering of home ownership. A reduction in union strength as well as the end of estate taxation and less progressive income tax systems may be factors raising economic inequality since the 1970s, especially when combined with lower economic growth rates in relation to rates of return to capital as like with Piketty’s story.


Inequality Economic change Mitigation 


  1. Wolff, E. N. (2016). Household Wealth Trends in the United States, 1962 to 2013: What Happened over the Great Recession? Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 2(6), 24–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Livio Di Matteo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsLakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada

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