Shameless self-promotion alert! I will be in Vancouver this week for the annual meeting of the Social Science History Association. I’m presenting the first working paper to come out of my dissertation research. The paper is tentatively titled “An Economy Free of Inequality: How Economics Rediscovered Income Distribution.” The paper asks how it was possible for us to be collectively surprised in the early 2000s by the dramatic growth in top incomes (the “top 1%”), given that the trend seems to have started in the late 1970s to mid 1980s. In other words, why was no one paying attention to the overall distribution of income? The answer involves the complex histories of economic subfields, the limitations of survey-based measures of income, and the way we defined the economy around three primary variables (national income/GNP/GDP, inflation, and unemployment) and in turn paid less attention to other thing. It’s a bit different than the talk as listed in the program, but hopefully no one will notice.
The paper is part of an awesome pair of sessions organized by Elizabeth Popp Berman on “Experts and Policy.” Both panels are Saturday morning (in “Oak 1”, 8-10am for my panel, 10:15-12:15 for the follow-up).
If you’re going to be there and want to meet up, please come to our session, leave a comment, or send me an email!