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Tag Archives: social justice

Corporate Taxes, Jobs, and Income

A recent Economic Policy Institute report, Competitive” distractions – Cutting corporate tax rates will not create jobs or boost incomes for the vast majority of American families, provides some useful data and charts. For example, the graph here compares changes in productivity and hourly compensation (Data are for average hourly compensation of production/nonsupervisory workers in the private sector and net productivity of the total economy. “Net productivity” is the growth of output of goods and services minus depreciation per hour worked.) You can download the data which can be used for linear regression.  There are other graphs in the article with data that can also be used.

Beyond that the article is rich with quantitative information that can be used in a QL based course.  For example, there is a lengthy discussion on the statutory and effective tax rates of corporations and how the U.S. compares to the rest of the world. The conclusion:

We find their central argument—that U.S. corporations face high corporate taxes—to be empirically false. While U.S. statutory tax rates are higher, the effective tax rate paid by corporations is in fact roughly equivalent to the effective tax rates of our peer countries, due to loopholes in the U.S. tax code.

 

Data Spotlight: Income Inequality

If you are looking for data on wealth and income inequality visit the World Wealth and Income Database. You can create graphs and download the data. For example, the graph here is pre-tax share of income for the top 1% (20.2% in 2014) and bottom 50% (12.6% in 2014) of adults in the U.S. The trends since 1980 are roughly linear and so the data, which you can download in a number of formats, can be used for regression. Once you have the lines, they can be used in other places in the curriculum. Other categories exist including wealth instead of income and groups such as the top 10% or middle 40%.

 

Is Life Fair or Not?

Stats classes are always looking for interesting data. One place to look in YouGov. For example, they did a poll (Note: it is not clear how the sample was obtained but they do provide a sample size.) asking people if life is fair.  Here are the results by gender.

  1. Do you think life is fair or not fair?
% TOTAL Male Female
Life is fair 38 46 31
Life is not fair 46 40 51
Not sure 16 14 18

You are set for a statistical test comparing Male vs Female perception of life being fair or not. This now allows for a discussion of why women would respond differently than men. One extra bonus on the site is you can look at the same questions broken down by other categories including income. Go to the YouGov Results page to see the data they have.

Data Spotlight: Employment and Wages by Race and Gender

The Economic Policy Institute has a State of Working America Data Library. Here you will find downloadable excel files on employment and wages by race and gender.  For example, you might be interested in the median hourly wages for men and women over time (see the graph – you can guess which is women and men). Not only is the data suitable for regression, but also for rich discussion on equality and policy.  This data set will get added to the statistics material pages.