Tag Archives: The Spirit Level

Do people always create the same status hierarchies?

It’s been a while since we talked about the inequality hypothesis on this blog. It’s also been a while since I’ve seen any coverage of it elsewhere. For certain politicians and commentators on the left it seems to have settled … Continue reading

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The harms of hidden research

It’s all about the ‘killer facts’. If you want to get social science into policy, then – as Alex Stevens’ wonderful covert ethnography of high-level policymaking shows – killer facts are the name of the game.  And we try hard on … Continue reading

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A few things that inequality causes

Of the endless stream of papers that flash in front of my eyes every week, a large number are ‘Spirit Level style’ – that is, they look at the relationship of inequality and a ‘bad thing’ between countries/areas. If I … Continue reading

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Beyond the uncertainty of The Spirit Level

The debate over the Spirit Level rages on. Since its 2009 publication, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s book – subtitled ‘Why more equal societies almost always do better’ – has courted controversy while simultaneously becoming part of mainstream UK political … Continue reading

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Health Equity in the US: Hold the Applause

In a guest post, Courtney McNamara compares policies on health inequalities in the US and UK, and argues that US policies – despite some improvements – have a long way to go before they have any real chance of success. … Continue reading

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Is Sweden too boring?

For those on the left, it’s almost taken for granted that a more equal society is a good thing.  As we’ve discussed before for ‘The Spirit Level’, there are evidence-based (but contentious) claims that more equal societies are healthier, safer, … Continue reading

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Wilkinson & Pickett: Are they right?

Rob de Vries (Imperial College London) finds reasons to be uncertain about The Spirit Level’s claims on inequality. In his earlier post discussing The Spirit Level, Ben said that we’d return to the subject of whether the books’ claims were … Continue reading

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‘Statistical catfights’ on the effects of inequality

However hard we try to communicate our work, inequality research is often tucked away on the unread pages of newspapers – if it even gets that far. So it’s slightly shocking that a book presenting evidence that ‘more equal societies … Continue reading

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