Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe: A World of Difference

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In this this timely study of the different approaches of America and Europe to the problems of domestic inequality and poverty, the authors describe just how different the two continents are in the level of State engagement in the redistribution of income. They discuss various possible economic explanations for the difference, including different levels of pre-tax income, openness, and social mobility; they survey politico-historical differences such as the varying physical size of nations, their electoral and ...
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Overview


In this this timely study of the different approaches of America and Europe to the problems of domestic inequality and poverty, the authors describe just how different the two continents are in the level of State engagement in the redistribution of income. They discuss various possible economic explanations for the difference, including different levels of pre-tax income, openness, and social mobility; they survey politico-historical differences such as the varying physical size of nations, their electoral and legal systems, and the character of their political parties, as well as their experiences of war; and they examine sociological explanations which include different attitudes to the poor and notions of social responsibility, as well as, most importantly, attitudes to race.
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Editorial Reviews

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"An important contribution to this enduring debate"--Region Focus

"In what ways, and why, are the United States and Europe so far apart in social policy? Alesina and Glaeser give us as definitive an answer to this fundamental question as we shall ever see."-George A. Akerlof, Nobel Prize Laureate

"This probing of the forces behind 'American exceptionalism', as measured by a much smaller welfare state than in Europe, is immensely important. The authors take a multi-discipline approach and consider many factors, including narrowly economic variables, political institutions, racial and ethnic diversity, the effects of wars, attitudes toward the poor, and still others. Their findings are sometimes surprising and frequently provocative. This monograph will quickly become the foundation of further literature on a subject of enormous significance."--Gary S. Becker, Nobel Prize Laureate

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199267668
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/27/2004
  • Series: Rodolfo Debenedetti Lectures
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Figures
List of Tables
1 Introduction 1
2 Redistribution in the United States and Europe: The Data 15
3 Economic Explanations 55
4 Political Institutions and Redistribution 77
5 The Origin of Political Institutions 95
6 Race and Redistribution 133
7 The Ideology of Redistribution 183
8 Conclusions 217
References 223
Index 235
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