Redistribution, or subsidies and regulations intended to help the poor, unemployed and financially distressed, have changed in many ways since the onset of the recent financial crisis. The unemployed, for instance, can collect benefits longer and can receive bonuses, health subsidies and tax deductions, and millions more people have become eligible for food stamps, Mulligan contends. By dulling incentives for people to maintain their own living standards, redistribution created employment losses according to age, skill and family composition.
Mulligan studies the transmission of family work values and wealth between generations. In the book Parental Priorities and Economic Inequality (1997), he shows that parents share their resources unequally, giving more to those children with whom they spend more time.
He has also studied social security, ageing and retirement, and has examined wage inequality between men and women.