What is Inequality? Links and Resources
There exist two sides to every argument; in this one we have on one side a utopian world where everyone is equal and on the other a world where inhabitants don’t want to share what they’ve earned (presumably) by persistence and hard work with others and keep it for themselves. Herein lie the issues of inequality and the question of welfare and income redistribution. There are debates at every level of society, government and especially amongst economists as to where this problem comes from and how to tackle it.
Here is a list of links to economics blogs that are useful for understanding the concept of inequality and economists’ ideas on the topic; as well as a short list of conferences in the field taking place this summer.
Links and resources:
1) This educational “Penny Game” helps clarify the underlying causes of unfair welfare distribution
2) OECD’s report on “Growing risk of inequality and poverty as crisis hits the poor hardest”
3) Post-crisis recovery is important, but it can also be uneven in its benefits and increase wealth inequality even more. Comments on that subject can read in The Wall Street Journal blog post: “Only Richest 7% Saw Wealth Gains From 2009 to 2011”
4) Stiglitz’s point of view is slightly different than the mainstream. His article “Inequality that is Holding Back the Recovery”, outlines his perspective.
5) A little bit old, but still relevant article about the vanishing middle class and the prospects of getting richer by investing in education: “Percentages and inequality: where is the middle class?”
1) Inequality, Growth and the Middle-Income Trap in China on July 1-2, 2013 jointly organized by China Center for Economic Research, Peking University and Stockholm China Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics.
2) Fifth Meeting of the Society for the Study of Economics Inequality (ECINEQ) from July 22 -24, 2013 in Bari, Italy. The conference aims to address a rigorous analysis of inequality, welfare and redistribution issues.
Image Credit: mSeattle