Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2002 (Revised March 2006)

Inequality and the "American Model"

by Rafael M. Di Tella and Ingrid Vogel


Official data that suggest economic inequality has been mounting in the United States on various dimensions since 1979. Many causes of such inequality have been postulated: technological change, globalization, demographic factors, and changes in public policy (notably changes in taxation during the Reagan presidency). Whether rising inequality is even a cause for concern is an open question. Some dimensions of inequality may be of concern, whereas other dimensions may be viewed as less problematic. To the extent that rising inequality is seen as a social problem that needs to be addressed, various policy proposals have been advocated.

Keywords: Equality and Inequality; Wealth and Poverty; Corporate Governance; Social Issues; Government Administration; United States;


Di Tella, Rafael M., and Ingrid Vogel. Inequality and the "American Model". Harvard Business School Case 703-025, November 2002. (Revised March 2006.)