11 de enero de 2011

Distribución del ingreso

Vía Economix, una interesante gráfica sobre la distribución del ingreso en los Estados Unidos. La gráfica fue elaborada por el Tax Policy Center y muestra el ingreso familiar por percentil.

Varias conclusiones de la gráfica (van en inglés para evitar errores de traducción):

  1. For the bottom 90 to 95 percent of Americans, the income distribution is relatively flat.

  2. But notice what happens on the right side of the graph, around the percentiles in the mid-90s, when the line suddenly kinks upward. The line gets much steeper because at the very top of the income scale, the monetary divisions between percentiles grow much greater.

  3. Those who aspire to hop from the 30th percentile to the 35th percentile would need in increase their cash income by $4,000 annually (or by about 17 percent); those who aspire to hop from the 91st percentile to the 96th percentile would require an increase of $324,900 (or 171 percent).

  4. In other words, at least in dollar terms, there is much greater inequality at the very top of the income scale than at the bottom or in the middle.

  5. Whether this translates to much greater differences in standards of living at the top is debatable, as an extra $1,000 for a poor family likely makes a much bigger impact on that family’s quality of life than an extra $1,000 for a wealthy family.

  6. Still, when evaluating their own incomes, most families are trying to keep up with the Joneses: they envy the wealthier neighbor whose lifestyle they aim to match.

  7. It is perhaps no wonder, then, that so many people who are statistically rich call themselves “upper middle” or even “middle class.” They are much, much richer than lots of poor people, but also much, much poorer than some very visibly rich people.