"One reason is the deep influence of the so-called Chicago school. The economics department at the University of Chicago has long been a leader in the field; it has garnered the most Nobel Prizes of any university economics department and a significant number of John Bates Clark medals in economics. But inequality has never been a priority for the Chicago school, to say the least. It has a strong libertarian bent, focusing on how to promote competition and economic growth and the benefits of a free market. 'In general, the [American] economics profession has avoided the subject of class conflict. All issues of distribution have been regarded as less pertinent than ideas of growth,' Arthur Goldhammer, a senior affiliate at Harvard's Center for European Studies who studies French and American politics and history, told me. 'Distributive questions in economics just raise hostility, and ultimately, growth is the important issue.'"
Alana Semuels at The Atlantic asks, "so why aren't American economists more preoccupied with wealth inequality?"