TIMOTHY NOAH JANUARY 19, 2012
1.) Scott Winship of Brookings and Miles Corak of the University of Ottawa had a back-and-forth about whether White House chief economist Alan Krueger's "Great Gatsby" scatter diagram (see Page 8) successfully links income inequality to immobility. If you want to follow this, here's the sequence:
The debate is pretty technical. Winship concludes by saying his criticism of the "Great Gatsby" chart wasn't "the main criticism I had with Krueger's speech," which smells to me like retreat. On the Freakonomics blog, Justin Wolfers calls it for Corak. In my own research I have relied on work by both Winship and Corak, and I respect both economists.
2.) Oxfam has a new report on global income inequality. The countries where incomes tend to be most unequal are "emerging market economies: South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Argentina, China, and Turkey." Countries where incomes tend to be most equal are the most developed ones with higher incomes: France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Australia. The United States is a conspicuous exception. You can read the whole report here.