The Economics of Rising Inequalities

The Economics of Rising Inequalities

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Edited by Daniel Cohen, Edited by Thomas Piketty, Edited by Gilles Saint-Paul

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 372 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 232mm x 30mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 3 September 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0198727739
  • ISBN 13: 9780198727736
  • Illustrations note: numerous figures and tables
  • Sales rank: 632,321

Product description

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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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.

Review quote

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

Table of contents

PART I: MARKETS AND INSTITUTIONS ; 1. The Distribution of Earnings in Spain During the 1980s: The effects of skill, unemployment, and union power ; 2. Earnings Inequality in Portugal and Spain: Contrasts and similarities ; 3. Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An alternative theory and some evidence ; 4. Does Competition at School Matter? A view based on the Italian and Japanese experiences ; 5. The Causes of the 'Youth Employment Problem': A (labour) supply side view ; 6. Pareto-Improving Immigration in an Economy with Equilibrium Unemployment ; PART II: LIFETIME INEQUALITIES AND THE SCOPE FOR REDISTRIBUTION ; 7. Consumption Inequality and Income Uncertainty ; 8. Income Redistribution Within the Life Cycle Versus Between Individuals: Empirical evidence using Swedish panel data ; 9. Earnings Dispersion, Low Pay, and Household Poverty in Italy, 1977-1998 ; 10. Changes in Home Production and Trends in Economic Inequality ; 11. Unequal Societies: Income distribution and the social contract ; 12. Unemployment, Specialization, and Collective Preferences for Social Insurance