The Openness‐Equality Trade‐Off in Global Redistribution

36 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2018

See all articles by E. Glen Weyl

E. Glen Weyl

Microsoft ; RadicalxChange Foundation

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2018


The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries accept massive numbers of migrants from poor countries and pay wages that dramatically improve over outside options but are meagre by the standards of natives. As such they do dramatically more per capita to reduce global inequality than do the ‘fortress welfare states’ of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. If OECD countries were to imitate the GCC it would reduce global inequality by more than full equalisation within the OECD would. Such examples suggest a philosophically disturbing trade‐off between openness to global inequality‐reducing migration and internal equality.

Suggested Citation

Weyl, Eric Glen, The Openness‐Equality Trade‐Off in Global Redistribution (July 2018). The Economic Journal, Vol. 128, Issue 612, pp. F1-F36, 2018, Available at SSRN: or

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