Inequality

25 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2006

See all articles by Edward L. Glaeser

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 5 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2005

Abstract

This paper reviews five striking facts about inequality across countries. As Kuznets (1955) famously first documented, inequality first rises and then falls with income. More unequal societies are much less likely to have democracies or governments that respect property rights. Unequal societies have less redistribution, and we have little idea whether this relationship is caused by redistribution reducing inequality or inequality reducing redistribution. Inequality and ethnic heterogeneity are highly correlated, either because of differences in educational heritages across ethnicities or because ethnic heterogeneity reduces redistribution. Finally, there is much more inequality and less redistribution in the U.S. than in most other developed nations.

Keywords: Economics - Economic and Econometric Theory, Housing, Urban Development and Transportation, Public Management, Welfare / Health Care/ Social Policy

Suggested Citation

Glaeser, Edward L., Inequality (October 2005). KSG Working Paper No. RWP05-056. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=832653 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.832653

Edward L. Glaeser (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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