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Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich CountriesThirty Countries' Experiences$
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Brian Nolan, Wiemer Salverda, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth, and Herman G. van de Werfhorst

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687428

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687428.001.0001

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Learning from Diversity About Increasing Inequality, Its Impacts and Responses?

(p.718) Chapter 30 Conclusions
Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries

Brian Nolan

Wiemer Salverda

Daniele Checchi

Ive Marx

Abigail McKnight

István György Tóth

Herman van de Werfhorst

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes key features of 30 country case studies of the evolution of income inequality, of outcomes in the social, cultural, and political realms that might potentially be affected, and of the effectiveness of policies in mitigating or exacerbating background inequalities. The volume documented trends in inequality and relative poverty over a period of time that spans major developments across all 30 countries, politico-economic transition in some, expansive commodification, and financialization in others, deep cultural and demographic change in most. No strong evidence has been found that increasing income inequality is associated with such negative social outcomes as more crime, more family breakdown, less trust, and greater social immobility, at least in the relatively short term. It is has been repeatedly demonstrated across the country studies that inequality in income is strongly associated with inequalities in other dimensions, including health, and these deep-seated social gradients are in themselves highly undesirable.

Keywords:   income inequality, drivers of inequality, education, developed countries, social gradients, health, poverty, trust, social mobility, ideological shift

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