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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Californians' Beliefs About Income Inequality


Rising income inequality and wealth in America have attracted substantial public attention in recent years. As evidence has mounted that the gap betwen the affluent and the poor has been increasing, elected officials, scholars, journalists, and even figures from popular culture have discussed the causes and effects of this phenomenon. The focus of the debate has often been the economic trends rather than the views of a broad sampling of Americans.  But public opinion can condition policy responses, and it is important to measure public opinion on economic inequality, its causes, and potential remedies. This IGS Research Brief seeks to understand public opinion in California about this issue. It describes and analyzes the results of an IGS Poll on income inequality, its perceived causes, and the views of Californians regarding possible responses.

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