The Budgetary Implications of Reducing U.S. Income Inequality Through Transfer Programs

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Report uses data from the Census Bureau regarding list and asset information at the household level to provide perspective on relative costs of reducing income inequality by increasing program benefits.

Budgetary implications for findings on income inequality reflect the expansive budgetary implications of benefits programs if they were to be increased. (1% decrease in income inequality though Food Stamp program would cost $15B). Findings point to the Food Stamp Program as the best candidate for reducing income inequality given that Federal-state cooperation is not needed and that the program is the most cost-effective of the programs studied here.

Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group