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Changing Inequalities in Rich CountriesAnalytical and Comparative Perspectives$
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Wiemer Salverda, Brian Nolan, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth, and Herman van de Werfhorst

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687435

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687435.001.0001

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The Social Impact of Income Inequality

The Social Impact of Income Inequality

Poverty, Deprivation, and Social Cohesion

(p.146) 6 The Social Impact of Income Inequality
Changing Inequalities in Rich Countries

Brian Nolan

Christopher T. Whelan

Oxford University Press

Growing inequalities may have deep-seated social impacts, and investigating these empirically is a core element of the research reported in this book. This chapter discusses some general conceptual and methodological issues that must be faced in seeking to identify such impacts, and then concentrates on the findings relating to social cohesion in the areas of poverty and deprivation, crime, the family, trust, and social capital. Overall, the evidence for distinct effects of income inequality per se remains inconclusive. Differences across countries in some of the social outcomes examined are correlated with levels of income inequality, but this may be due to deeper underlying factors, and increases in inequality over time have not been robustly linked to worsening social outcomes.

Keywords:   inequality, impacts of inequality, social cohesion, trust, crime, poverty, deprivation, methodology

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