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Rise of Inequality

Inequality. Over the past year the historically highly politicised term has entered the mainstream debate: Growing income inequality was the topic of Piketty’s 2014 bestseller and the issue featured prominently at the top of the agenda at the recent gathering of world economic leaders in Davos.

Yet, beyond popular discourse and catch-phrase statistics what are the underlying implications of inequality? Where do different political and economic considerations come into play and how are they manifested? Above all: is contemporary social and economic inequality a cause for concern? The second issue of Perspectives offers a diverse collection of essays authored by leading academics in the field exploring different dimensions of inequality.

Inequality in Climate Change Games

Photographs from AFP-REUTERS-GETTYIMAGES&AP

 

World leaders will soon gather in Copenhagen in the hopes of coming up with a binding agreement aimed at limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. But what if we're not successful?

BY ALESSANDRO TAVONI 14/02/2015 Inequality has long been the focus of much economic thinking. To name but a few, Kuznets (1955), Sen (1973) and Wilkinson (1996) have written extensively about the subject of income inequality and its relationship to economic growth. In 2014 the issue has once again taken centre ...

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The Gender Pay Gap: Rethinking Human Capital

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By MARY GREGORY, 26/02/2015 It is now 40 years since the UK’s Equal Pay Act came fully into force, yet the gender pay gap remains ubiquitous (Goodley, 2014). More perplexingly, the same period has seen a dramatic rise in women’s educational attainment (Barnes, 2011, p.17). Girls have been outperforming boys ...

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Inequality and the Financial Crisis

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By PASQUALE TRIDICO 26/02/2015 The objective of this brief essay is to show that the institutional and structural changes which occurred in the labor market and in the economy over the last two decades in Europe, and over the past 30 years in the US, were functional to the financialization ...

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How Government Became “The Problem”

Credits to SS&SS

By JON D. WISMAN, 19/02/15 Over the past 40 years, more and more Americans have come to view government as incompetent, corrupt, or even as the enemy. And it’s not just the Tea Partyers. Whereas in the 1970s, 70 percent of Americans had “trust and confidence” that the government could ...

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Thinking about the Poor and not the Rich

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By PHILIP BOOTH, 14/02/15 I am passionately interested in ensuring that we have the right conditions to alleviate poverty but I am relatively uninterested in the issue of inequality. If you take the position that inequality matters in and of itself then, essentially, you are taking the view that you ...

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Jubilee, Denial and Beyond

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By RICHARD D.WOLFF, 13/02/15 Thousands of years ago, various religions developed an idea some called ‘jubilee’. It entailed the acts of canceling or reversing income and/or wealth inequalities (especially of land holdings and debts) that had developed in their societies. Often, jubilees were stipulated to occur periodically every 49 years, ...

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UK Inequality – How much and why does it matter?

Economics and Distribution From the 1950s to the early 1980s discussions of income and wealth distribution had had an important place in mainstream economics, for both developed and underdeveloped countries. For example, Simon Kuznets was one of the most prominent economists of the 1950s, and his work on income distribution ...

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Rejoice, the World is becoming a better place

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BY ADAM MEMON 14/10/2014 In a recent debate I had on the BBC World Service (CPS, 2015) with David Graeber, the anthropologist who apparently came up with the phrase “We are the 99 percent,” I quoted official figures showing big falls in extreme poverty and rises in life expectancy. His response was ...

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