The Economics of Rising Inequalities

The Economics of Rising Inequalities

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This book is an in-depth discussion of rising inequalities in the western world. It explores the extent to which rising inequalities are the mechanical consequence of changes in economic fundamentals (such as changes in technological or demographic parameters), and to what extent they are the contingent consequences of country-specific and time-specific changes in institutions. Both the 'fundamentalist' view and the 'institutionalist' view have some relevance. For instance, the decline of traditional manufacturing employment since the 1970s has been associated in every developed country with a rise of labor-market inequality (the inequality of labor earnings within the working-age population has gone up in all countries), which lends support to the fundamentalist view. But, on the other hand, everybody agrees that institutional differences (minimum wage, collective bargaining, tax and transfer policy, etc.) between Continental European countries and Anglo-Saxon countries explain why disposable income inequality trajectories have been so different in those two groups of countries during the 1980s-90s, which lends support to the institutionalist view. The chapters in this volume show the strength of both views. Through empirical evidence and new theoretical insights the contributors argue that institutions always play a crucial role in shaping inequalities, and sometimes preventing them, but that inequalities across age, sex, and skills often recur. From Sweden to Spain and Portugal, from Italy to Japan and the USA, the volume explores the diversity of the interplay between market forces and institutions.

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  • Hardback | 372 pages
  • 156 x 236 x 24mm | 698.53g
  • Oxford University Press
  • OxfordUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • numerous figures and tables
  • 0199254028
  • 9780199254026

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Author Information

Gilles Saint-Paul is Professor of Economics at the Universite des Sciences Sociales, Toulouse, France. He was previously a Researcher at DELTA, Paris (1990-7), Visiting Professor at MIT (Spring 1995), and Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona (1997-2000). He has been a CEPR Research Fellow since 1991 and Programme Director for labour economics since 2001.

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The studies cover quite a broad set of issues affecting inequality ... The research agenda of these studies is rich and ambitious. Industrial and Labor Relations Review The volume has many merits. All of the papers are well written, substantial, methodologically solid, and quite readable at the Masters level. Industrial and Labor Relations Review ... a valuable addition to the literature ... a collection on a mix of topics, with some papers you will want to refer back to and several that will likely give rise to extensive further studies. Industrial and Labor Relations Review

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