The Great Gatsby Curve Among America’s Über Rich

The Great Gatsby Curve Among America’s Über Rich
Fix, Blair. (2023). Economics from the Top Down. 14 October. pp. 1-17. (Article - Magazine; English).

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Abstract or Brief Description

Economists are not known for their literary imaginations. Flip through any economics textbook and you’ll find a barrage of terms like the ‘Philips curve’ and the ‘Fisher effect’. The jargon is simple enough — empirical relations are usually named after the person who discovered them. But this convention is neither descriptive nor fun.

The exception to this vanilla naming practice is a pattern called the ‘Great Gatsby curve’.1 It’s named after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous book The Great Gatsby, which explores the roiling inequality and tumultuous class dynamics of the 1920s. The Great Gatsby curve is an empirical relation between social inequality and social mobility. As inequality rises, social mobility tends to decline.

In this post, we’ll look at the The Great Gatsby curve among America’s über rich. As it turns out, these folks are not immune from inequality. Nor are they immune from an ossifying social ladder. In other words, among America’s richest people, the Great Gatsby curve is alive and well.



Publication Type

Article - Magazine


billionaires corporation distribution ownership United States


BN Power
BN Business Enterprise
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Conflict & Violence
BN Distribution

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

30 Oct 2023 23:08

Last Modified

24 Nov 2023 20:56


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