Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries: Thirty Countries' Experiences

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Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries: Thirty Countries' Experiences
Edited by Brian Nolan, Wiemer Salverda, Daniele Checchi, Ive
Oxford University Press, 2014
784 pp. $150.00
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This compendium reports the results of a major EU-backed project to investigate changes in inequality and relative poverty in 25 European countries plus Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and the United States over the three decades following 1980. The researchers examined inequality in income, wealth, debt, and education and delved into the social, political, and cultural impacts of inequality and the effects of policies meant to mitigate it. They used a common template and standardized metrics for all the countries, allowing them to make comparisons over time and across countries. They found that, with few exceptions, inequality rose over this time, especially in former communist countries. Public tolerance of inequality varies from country to country, the report shows, as do policies to address it. But there is a general preference in most countries for providing public services to all citizens, especially in education and health, instead of merely redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor.