Spencer Barnes and Andrew Kennedy, Belmont economics majors in Belmont’s College of Business, recently attended and presented their paper, co-authored by fellow Belmont student Gaëlle Deslandes, entitled “Viva La Gini Revolution: An Empirical Consideration of a Maximum Wage Policy to Help Battle Income Inequality” at the Issues in Political Economy (IPE) 22nd Undergraduate Research Conference in Economics. The 2015 conference was recently held at the Eastern Economic Association Annual Meetings in New York City. The conference brings together undergraduates from across the country to present and share their research with peers. Students also serve as session chairs and discussants.
In their paper, the students used data from the March 2013 U.S. Consumer Population Survey to examine the potential effect of a maximum wage on wage inequality. They also explored how current measures of the Gini coefficient in the U.S. compares with other nations during historic revolutionary periods.
Their findings revealed that while income inequality is an important factor for revolutions, the role of government appears to be more influential in citizen revolts. The study also concluded that a maximum wage can be an effective tool for lowering income inequality. These results shed some light on non-conventional approaches to addressing income distribution and achieving socially desirable outcomes.
The students were accompanied by Research Advisor and Faculty Member Dr. Colin Cannonier.