Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class / Edition 1

Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class / Edition 1

by Robert Frank
Pub. Date:
University of California Press
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Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class / Edition 1

Although middle-income families don't earn much more than they did several decades ago, they are buying bigger cars, houses, and appliances. To pay for them, they spend more than they earn and carry record levels of debt. In a book exploring the very meaning of happiness and prosperity in America today, Robert Frank explains how increased concentrations of income and wealth at the top of the economic pyramid have set off "expenditure cascades" that raise the cost of achieving many basic goals for the middle class. Drawing from up-to-date economic data and everyday examples, Frank compels us to rethink how and why we live our economic lives the way we do.

About the Author:
Robert H. Frank is an economics professor in the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520252523
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 07/09/2007
Series: Wildavsky Forum Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Preface     vii
Introduction     1
Recent Changes in Income and Wealth Inequality     6
Inequality, Happiness, and Health     15
Envy or Context?     29
The Rising Cost of Adequate     43
Why Do We Care about Rank?     52
What Types of Consumption Are Most Sensitive to Context?     61
How Can Middle-Class Families Afford to Keep Up?     78
Smart for One, Dumb for All     87
Looking Ahead     95
Lessons for Public Policy     103
Reflections     117
Notes     127
References     133
Index     141

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