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Mike Berry

Morality and Power 13.  Inequality The history of inequality is shaped by the way economic, social, and political actors view what is just and what is not, as well as by the relative power of those actors and the collective choices that result (Thomas Piketty). 1 CONTEXT In 1958 the Harvard University economist John Kenneth Galbraith (JKG) published a justly famous book – The Affluent Society – in which he proclaimed the demise of economic inequality in the leading economies of the world, most notably his own. A little over 50 years later his son

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Tom Neumark

3 Inequality Tom Neumark Since the onset of the Great Recession, a concern for economic inequality has taken on a renewed urgency as scholars, activists and ordinary citizens seek to grapple with a world in which the gap between the rich and the poor, the stable and the precarious, the 1 per cent and the 99 per cent, appears to have grown larger and more entrenched. With this concern, a growing body of literature on inequality has emerged, with contributions from a range of disciplines, including history, archaeology, political science and economics. Because of

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Chris Hamnett

16.  Urban inequality Chris Hamnett [A]ny city, however small, is in fact divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich; these are at war with one another. (Plato, 360 BCE, Book IV) 16.1 INTRODUCTION Urban inequality has a long history. As long as cities have existed there has been urban inequality. There is not a city in the world which is not characterized by various different forms of inequality, whether it is socialist or capitalist. While the size, scale and form of inequalities will vary from time to time and place to place, they do

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Yanbi Hong and Yandong Zhao

12.  Educational inequality Yanbi Hong and Yandong Zhao INTRODUCTION The twentieth century, especially its second half, witnessed the rapid expansion of education in both developed and developing countries (Schofer and Meyer, 2005). China is no exception. The enrolment rate at primary school increased from 20 per cent in 1949 to 85 per cent in 1965. It reached 99 per cent in 2004, while 98 per cent of school-age children completed nine years of compulsory education in 2007. Only about 30 per cent of Chinese born in the early twentieth century received education

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James Midgley

1. Defining inequality Although inequality now features prominently in academic, political and popular discourse, there is little consensus about the meaning of the term and scholars working in different academic fields define it in different ways. While economists focus on income inequality, sociologists are primarily concerned with class. In turn, feminist and multicultural writers focus on inequalities based on gender and ethnicity. Geographers are concerned with the spatial dimensions of inequality while anthropologists are primarily interested in social

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James Midgley

3. Addressing inequality Although it is clear from Chapter 2 that all societies throughout human history have been hierarchically differentiated on the basis of income, wealth, gender, occupation, ethnicity, social status and other attributes, this does not mean that these inequalities are unchangeable. It was shown that even deeply institutionalized patterns of differentiation have been altered by economic, social and cultural forces. Inequality has also been modified by human agency, and especially by purposeful policy decisions. During the ‘Great Leveling’ of

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Serge-Christophe Kolm

36 Inequality Serge-Christophe Kolm Introduction When some people are treated more or less favourably than others without a seemingly valid reason, this inequality arouses a judgement of injustice which is conveyed in the term ‘inequality’. Such inequalities are a major issue for judging societies or policies and are often compared across time or societies, in particular by the media and politicians. Such comparisons are a priori highly problematic, however, since given any two unequal distributions of some item, one can most of the time show that any one is

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Lars Söderström

2. Inequality Market economies give rise to a great variety of economic positions with differences in wealth, income and consumption. Such differences are commonly called ‘inequality’. This chapter attempts to bring some of the controversies surrounding inequality into perspective by emphasizing three aspects. First, inequality reflects differences in choice as well as in opportunities. It is rarely the case that an individual has to have a particular wealth, income or consumption. Second, choices and opportunities are interrelated over an individual’s life cycle

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Impact on inequality

The Impact on Labour Markets and Welfare States

Bent Greve

Technology and the Future of Work 8.  Impact on inequality 8.1  INTRODUCTION Recent years have seen a growing number of books and articles on the consequences of increasing economic inequality (wealth and income). This chapter uses this as a starting point, and reflects on the consequences of labour market changes on the degree of equality and how this might influence equality in the years to come. Given the centrality in many countries of having a job, inequality in access to jobs might give rise to new types of inequality, including access to

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Casilda Lasso de la Vega

17.  Social inequality: theoretical approaches Casilda Lasso de la Vega 17.1  INTRODUCTION The analysis of the inequality in the distribution of income has attracted the attention of many economists for quite some time now and a great number of different problems have been addressed and deeply analysed. There are two key concepts that underlie the measurement of income inequality. The first is that there is no inequality when everybody enjoys the mean income, or to put it differently, the mean income is taken as the equality reference point. The second basic