Do the Sons of Rich Families Recover After a Large Wealth Shock? Evidence From the US Civil War

One striking feature of many underdeveloped societies is that economic power is concentrated in the hands of very small powerful elites. Why is it the case that some elites show remarkable persistence and even retain their power after major economic disruptions, like civil wars or democratization? The fortune of wealthy white southern households and their sons after the American Civil War is one such case in point.  

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Study: Political Connections Lower Companies’ Tax Rates and Risk of Being Audited

How does the revolving door between Congress and corporate America affect the enforcement of tax policy? A new study examines how tax rates change when firms hire former members of Congress, finding that companies’ tax bills and the probability of being audited decrease markedly when they hire a former legislator.  

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Wealth Inequality in America: A Race Between the Stock and the Housing Market

Booming stock markets and the collapse of house prices in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis have increased wealth inequality in the US to a new historical high. Meanwhile, the racial wealth gap has stayed put for over 70 years, with virtually no progress in reducing wealth inequality between black and white households.  

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