By Dimitri B. Papadimitriou
The Nineteen Eighties witnessed an unheard of upward thrust in inequality and poverty within the US, regardless of an fiscal enlargement that started in 1983. The papers accumulated during this quantity discover differing manifestations together with poverty charges that remained suddenly excessive over the interval, the shrinkage of the center type, a starting to be intergenerational wealth hole, a widening of the profits hole among the varsity trained and the highschool graduate and an expanding dispersion of the distribution of kin source of revenue, regardless of the elevated labour strength participation of girls. Papadimitriou is additionally the editor of "Profits, Deficits and Instability", "Aspects of Distribution of source of revenue and Wealth" and with Steven Fazzari "Financial stipulations and Macroeconomic functionality, Essays in Honor of Hyman P. Minsky".
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Changing demographie eomposition among the poor, while it has affeeted both the level and the trend in poverty over the past three deeades, has had tittle effeet on the responsiveness of poverty to the overall maeroeconomy. 3 EXPLORING THE RESPONSIVENESS OF EARNINGS TO THE MACROECONOMY The evidence above suggests that there may have been areal decrease in the responsiveness of earnings and other ineome 42 Why were Poverty Rates so High in the 1980s? components to macroeconomic growth among the poor.
As employment expanded in the 1980s, one might have expected greater responsiveness to the labor market environment after the cuts (with less nonearned income to rely on) than before the cuts. In addition, there is also evidence that many of the federal cuts in funding for state-Iocal programs did not fuHy occur, because states made up the losses. A variety of federal categorical programs, many of them particularly aimed at low-income families, were abolished and their dollars diverted into newly-created block grants to the states, with less money in these block grants than had been provided earlier through the programs.
Thus, central city residents might be more disadvantaged in the 1980s than they were in the 1960s in terms of their access to jobs. ' There is evidence that the percent of poor living in areas of high poverty increased between 1970 and 1980 (Rickets and Sawhill, 1988). Unfortunately, I lack any data on economic growth and expansion in central city versus noncentral city locations, much less on such changes within particularly poor central city areas. If such effects are occurring, they will show up as part of the earnings-related effects measured in the next section of the paper.