Political Sociology and the Global South Working Group

With generous assistance from the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin, the Political Sociology and the Global South working group has been a success in advancing research, critical thought, and alliances on issues in the Global South. Our working group, led by a group of graduate student coordinators across the social sciences, is an intellectual community of graduate students and scholars who share interests on the intersecting issues of Global South socioeconomic development and underdevelopment, political and social movements, labor, and state-society relations. Our working group is open to all regardless of enrollment status. In the fall quarter, we had two students — Leydy Diossa and Emma Colven — present drafts of their paper while also hosting professors —William Robinson, from UC-Santa Barbara, and Steven McKay, from UC- Santa Cruz. We followed the fall quarter with a strong winter quarter that had three students — Joel Herrera, Pei Palgren, and Andrew Le — present their work while three external speakers — Phillip Hough from Florida Atlantic University, Aihwa Ong from Berkeley, and Yen Le Espiritu from UC- San Diego — also came to our working group. We plan on completing the academic year with Summer Gray, Leslie Salzinger, and Vivek Chibber visiting us from their respective universities along with student presentations by Cory Mengual and Dan Zipp. We will cap the year off with a mini-conference that connects with themes of our working group and the Institute.

By: Kenton Card, Matias Fernandez, Andrew N. Le, Urban Planning and Sociology.

Income Inequality and Income Mobility for American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders

Professor: Randall Akee, Public Policy

Project Description: This project investigates the well-known phenomenon of increasing income inequality and reduced economic mobility in the U.S. in recent years.[1] The analysis is novel in that we are able to separate out differences across the major race and ethnic groups in the U.S. Previous researchers have been unable to conduct this type of analysis given the relatively small sample sizes in survey data for certain race and ethnic groups. This table shows the discrepancies across the race and ethnic groups in terms of the top and bottom shares of income distribution in the United States for the years 2000 and 2014.

The share of income accruing to the top 10 percent of the population of all tax filers was about 41 percent in 2000 and 40 percent in 2014. Looking across the columns for 2000, about 90 percent of the income that accrued to the top 10 percent of tax filers went to Whites, while about 2.5 percent went to Hispanics, 2.1 percent to Blacks, 0.25 percent to American Indians, and 5.3 percent to Asians. At the bottom of the panel, we report the proportion of the population of each of these groups for our restricted sample of tax filers ages 25–65. Comparing the share of the population to the share of income accruing to each group provides an additional measure of inequality. Whites received a strongly disproportionate share of top income, while Asians received slightly more than their proportionate share. Meanwhile Hispanics, Blacks, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and Others accrued less than their proportionate share of total income in the top 10 percent. Looking at Panel B (2014), there are noticeable changes over time: The share accruing to Whites decreased to about 84 percent and the share for Hispanics increased to 4 percent. However, the proportion of Whites in the population decreased to about 70 percent, while Hispanics increased to about 13 percent. Asians realized an increase to an 8 percent share while Blacks, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders did not realize any noticeable changes at the top 10 percent over this time period.

This analysis is repeated for the Top 1%, Top 0.1% and the Bottom 1% in the income distribution.

 Full working paper is available at: www.census.gov

[1] This draft is released to inform interested parties of research and to encourage discussion. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the U.S. Census Bureau.