This book discusses the cost and standard of living, income distribution, wage surveys, and wages. Also explored are the causes and consequences of trends in the distribution of wealth, income, consumption, and other measures of material well-being.
The most reliable and complete measures of workers' pay show, according to the analysis of Marvin H. Kosters, and contrary to what is commonly believed, that the average worker has achieved modest but significant real wage gains over the past twenty-five years. Inequality of workes' pay has widened, however, as observers have frequently reported. Kosters points out that the increase in the value of skills is the main souce of increased wage inequality and that those higher rewards for skill have led to higher school enrollment.
Marvin H. Kosters is a resident scholar and the director of economic policy studies at AEI.