Chapter 18 - Income Distribution and Poverty Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 18 - Income Distribution and Poverty Deck (20):




human capital

The stock of knowledge, skills, and talents that people possess; it can be inborn or acquired through education and training.


compensating differentials

Differences in wages that result from differences in working conditions. Risky jobs usually pay higher wages; highly desirable jobs usually pay lower wages.


minimum wage

The lowest wage that firms are permitted to pay workers.


property income

Income from the ownership of real property and financial holdings. It takes the form of profits, interest, dividends, and rents.


transfer payments

Payments by government to people who do not supply goods or services in exchange.


economic income

The amount of money a household can spend during a given period without increasing or decreasing its net assets. Wages, salaries, dividends, interest income, transfer payments, rents, and so on are sources of economic income.


money income

The measure of income used by the Census
Bureau. Because money income excludes noncash transfer payments and capital gains income, it is less inclusive than economic income.


Lorenz curve

A widely used graph of the distribution of income, with cumulative percentage of households plotted along the horizontal axis and cumulative percentage of income plotted along the vertical axis.


Gini coefficient

A commonly used measure of the degree of inequality of income derived from a Lorenz curve. It can range from 0 to a maximum of 1.


poverty line

The officially established income level that
distinguishes the poor from the nonpoor. It is set at three times the cost of the Department of Agriculture’s minimum food budget.


utility possibilities frontier

A graphic representation of a two-person world that shows all points at which I’s utility can be increased only if J’s utility is decreased.


utilitarian justice

The idea that “a dollar in the hand of a rich person is worth less than a dollar in the hand of a poor person.” If the marginal utility of income declines with income, transferring income from the rich to the poor will increase total utility.


Rawlsian justice

A theory of distributional justice that concludes that the social contract emerging from the “original position” would call for an income distribution that would maximize the well-being of the worst-off member of society.


labor theory of value

Stated most simply, the theory that the value of a commodity depends only on the amount of labor required to produce it.


Social Security system

The federal system of social insurance programs. It includes three separate programs that are financed through separate trust funds: the Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) program, the Disability Insurance (DI) program, and the Health Insurance (HI), or Medicare program.


public assistance, or welfare

Government transfer programs that provide cash benefits to: (1) families with dependent children whose incomes and assets fall below a very low level and (2) the very poor regardless of whether they have children.


unemployment compensation

A state government transfer program that pays cash benefits for a certain period of time to laid-off workers who have worked for a specified period of time for a covered employer.


Medicaid and Medicare

In-kind government transfer programs that provide health and hospitalization benefits: Medicare to the aged and their survivors and to certain of the disabled, regardless of income, and Medicaid to people with low incomes.


food stamps

Vouchers that have a face value greater than their cost and that can be used to purchase food at grocery stores.