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Economic Commentary

Life-Cycle Income and Consumption Variability

By all accounts, economic inequality is growing — the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. This Economic Commentary explores inequality in income and consumption and asks whether inequality is determined early in life, before individuals enter the labor market, or whether it manifests itself during the working years.

The views authors express in Economic Commentary are theirs and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The series editor is Tasia Hane. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This paper and its data are subject to revision; please visit for updates.

Suggested Citation

Rupert, Peter, and Chris Telmer. 2001. “Life-Cycle Income and Consumption Variability.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary 3/1/2001.