This paper introduces a new panel of annual state-level income inequality
measures over the ninety year period 1916-2005. Among many of the states inequality
followed a U-shaped pattern over the past century, peaking both before the Great
Depression and again at the time of the new millennium. The new panel reveals
significant state-level variations, both before the year 1945, and regionally. While
Northeastern states are strongly correlated with aggregate U.S. trends, we find many
of the Western states have little overall correlation over the past century. The availability
of this new panel may prove useful to empirical researchers interested in all
aspects of income inequality, particularly given the panel’s unusually large number
of both time-series and cross-sectional observations.
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