UCLA Changes in Inequality in the United States Since the 1970s Essay


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Data Report 2
A client has asked you to prepare a report documenting changes in inequality in the United
States since the 1970s. Your report should present data covering multiple variables that
demonstrate different ways to view the broad concept of inequality. It should also provide a
brief analysis of the patterns you observe. Your job is not to hypothesize causes of changes in
inequality, but rather to discuss the facts. Some ideas you may want to consider when
preparing the report:
1. How similar/different varying measures of inequality look over time
2. The difference between wealth inequality and income inequality
3. Before tax vs after tax measurements
4. Comparison of the US to other countries
5. Inequality between different genders, ethnicities, education levels, etc.
You do not need to answer all of the questions above and you are welcome to look at different
issues that you find interesting. Assume that the client is familiar with basic economic concepts
but is not an economist. This means part of your description should be focused on defining the
variables you chose and discussing precisely what they measure. When possible, discuss the
relevant tradeoffs between different measures (i.e. are there any shortcomings of the
measures?) and why you chose the ones that you did. Do your best to convey why the data
you are showing is important.
1. Your report needs to look nice. Graphs should be easy to read, consistently themed, and
formatted cleanly. Text should be presented neatly and it should be clear to which graph
the text refers. Have some fun with it! Creativity is encouraged!
2. Your report must include at least 6 data series and at least 4 separate graphs in other
words, you can put more than one series on a graph if it makes sense – for example income
shares for different groups). Do not take graphs from other sources. Always download the
data and create the graph yourself.
3. Part of your job is finding data sources. It should be pretty easy to find data (a google
search of “inequality downloadable data” brings up many options)
4. There is no formal requirement for length, but you do not need more than a few sentences
describing each graph (and a few on the comparison across graphs when that makes
sense to do). Bullets with incomplete sentences are ok if you prefer that format. The
important part is to make the reader understand precisely what is going on in each piece of
your data.

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income inequality

Wealth Inequality


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