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Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich CountriesThirty Countries' Experiences$
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Brian Nolan, Wiemer Salverda, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth, and Herman G. van de Werfhorst

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687428

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687428.001.0001

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Divided We Fall? The Wider Consequences of High and Unrelenting Inequality in the Uk*

Divided We Fall? The Wider Consequences of High and Unrelenting Inequality in the Uk*

Chapter:
(p.666) Chapter 28 Divided We Fall? The Wider Consequences of High and Unrelenting Inequality in the Uk*
Source:
Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries
Author(s):

Abigail McKnight

Tiffany Tsang

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687428.003.0028

Inequality in the UK increased dramatically over the 1980s. Since the early 1990s high levels of inequality have become entrenched and while government policy has had some success in protecting certain groups the UK population remains deeply divided across a number of dimensions. This chapter examines trends in inequality, the effectiveness of government tax-benefit and public expenditure in terms of reducing inequality, and how inequality trends relate to trends in social, cultural, and political dimensions of people’s lives. This involves the analysis of average levels and social gradients where available. The chapter concludes that the descriptive trends suggest that inequalities in income are associated with divisions in a range of other variables – such as, health, mortality, voter turnout, trust – but there is little to support the hypothesis that higher levels of inequality cause increases in average ‘social ills’.

Keywords:   income inequality, drivers of inequality, education, United Kingdom, social gradients, health, mortality, voter turnout, trust, tax-benefit system

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