Phillip W. Magness

Historian – 19th century United States

Are the “inequality” charts simply tracking tax code changes?

| September 7, 2016

The main historical argument made by inequality scholars such as Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman asserts that the income and wealth distributions of the United States follow a U-shaped pattern across the past 100 years. According to this narrative, the century began at very high levels of inequality. Intervening events such as the adoption […]

Fed economists attempt to piketty their own U.S. inequality data

| December 26, 2015

Earlier this month the St. Louis Federal Reserve published a new briefing paper by economists William R. Emmons and Lowell B. Ricketts, in which they claimed to find recent evidence of the growing inequality trends predicted in Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century. As asserted in the Fed paper: “Data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances […]