Learning from Diversity About Increasing Inequality, Its Impacts and Responses?
This chapter summarizes key features of 30 country case studies of the evolution of income inequality, of outcomes in the social, cultural, and political realms that might potentially be affected, and of the effectiveness of policies in mitigating or exacerbating background inequalities. The volume documented trends in inequality and relative poverty over a period of time that spans major developments across all 30 countries, politico-economic transition in some, expansive commodification, and financialization in others, deep cultural and demographic change in most. No strong evidence has been found that increasing income inequality is associated with such negative social outcomes as more crime, more family breakdown, less trust, and greater social immobility, at least in the relatively short term. It is has been repeatedly demonstrated across the country studies that inequality in income is strongly associated with inequalities in other dimensions, including health, and these deep-seated social gradients are in themselves highly undesirable.
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