Tag: effects of inequality

  • When the insecure are not the disadvantaged

    Amidst all the other excitements of the summertime, you might have missed a couple of significant papers by top scholars in top American journals. So just to mentally prepare you for the autumn – don’t worry, it’s not here yet! – I thought that over two posts, I’d cover two papers that seemed likely to […]

  • Why more equal societies have more stable economies

    In this guest post, the writer/researcher and author of ‘The Cost of Inequality’ Stewart Lansley looks at the link between equality and economic stability – building on Rob de Vries’ earlier two posts on the blog. According to current economic orthodoxy, inequality is a necessary condition for economic progress. Higher rewards and lower taxes at the […]

  • Where do we go from here?

    In this final report on the Attitudes to Wealth and Economic Inequality in the UK event run by Cumberland Lodge, Charlotte Cavaille asks ‘where do we go from here on attitudes to redistribution?’  From the two previous posts, the following picture emerges: the UK has become a high inequality country (relative to where it was in the immediate post-war period) with […]

  • 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 blogged about each of these then there would be no room for anything else on […]

  • 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 debate. Now a UK social justice foundation has commissioned a review of the book and its […]

  • Leisure Inequality – What Do the Poor and Non-Poor Do For Fun?

    Oscar Wilde once said that “cultivated leisure is the aim of man,” by which he may have been thinking of the kinds of diversions that require wearing a tuxedo or concentrating for long hours in an edifying seminar. The truly cultivated leisures may be the province of the very privileged, but even the leisures of […]

  • Social cohesion, diversity, and poverty

    Whatever your views, there’s always a temptation to ruffle a few feathers among your peers. Among left-wingers in the UK, David Goodhart did just that in 2004: he argued that two cherished left-wing ideals were in conflict. In simple terms, ‘the Goodhardt hypothesis’ is that diversity undercuts support for the welfare state – partly because […]

  • Is Sweden Perfection?

    Inspired by the Spirit Level two students decide to visit Sweden to explore, through an adventurous trip, the reasons why Sweden is less unequal than England and what the other countries might learn from the ideal-type of the Nordic welfare. For these two guys “Sweden is perfection. Beauty, happiness, wealth, health… and equality”. Their account […]

  • From squeeze to crash: the role of living standards in the financial crisis

    While almost no-one predicted the financial crisis of 2007, there’s been no shortage of people rushing to explain it with the benefit of hindsight. Amid all the competing explanations, one caught my eye: the idea that rising US income inequality somehow caused the financial crisis. But while this conveniently slots into the ‘inequality-is-bad-for-everything’ narrative, is […]

  • Your Sneakers Make Me Sick

    We all know that status and consumption go together like lobster and champagne. The high status people get the finer things in life, and the highest status people get the finest things of all. In pre-modern societies the relationship between status and consumption was made explicit through the enactment of sumptuary laws – rules about […]