Class structure and economic inequality

Edward N. Wolff, Ajit Zacharias

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Existing empirical schemas of class structure do not specify the capitalist class in an adequate manner. We propose a schema in which the specification of capitalist households is based on wealth thresholds. Individuals in non-capitalist households are assigned class locations based on their position in the social labour process. The schema is designed to address the question of the relationship between class structure and overall economic inequality in the United States. Although the major portion of inequality occurs within classes, inter-class inequality, especially the large gaps between capitalist households and everyone else, contributed substantially to the rise in overall inequality.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1381-1406
    Number of pages26
    JournalCambridge Journal of Economics
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Nov 2013


    • Class analysis
    • Inequality
    • Living standards

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics


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