The Economies of Rising Inequalities

The Economies of Rising Inequalities

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From New York Times best-selling author Thomas Piketty and noted Professors of Economics Daniel Cohen and Gilles Saint-Paul, comes 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198727736
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 09/03/2014
Edition description: UK ed.
Pages: 376
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Edited by Daniel Cohen, Professor of Economics, University of Paris I/Ecole normale supérieure, Thomas Piketty, Director of Studies, Department of Economics, EHESS, and Gilles Saint-Paul, Professor, Department of Economics, Université des Sciences Sociales, Toulouse

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, Olympia Bover, Samuel Bentolila, and Manuel Arellano
2. Earnings Inequality in Portugal and Spain: Contrasts and similarities, Olga Cantó, Ana R. Cardoso, and Juan F. Jimeno
3. Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An alternative theory and some evidence, Daron Acemoglu
4. Does Competition at School Matter? A view based on the Italian and Japanese experiences, Giorgio Brunello and Tsuneo Ishikawa
5. The Causes of the 'Youth Employment Problem': A (labour) supply side view, Etienne Wasmer
6. Pareto-Improving Immigration in an Economy with Equilibrium Unemployment, Javier Ortega
Part II: Lifetime Inequalities and the Scope for Redistribution
7. Consumption Inequality and Income Uncertainty, Richard Blundell and Ian Preston
8. Income Redistribution Within the Life Cycle Versus Between Individuals: Empirical evidence using Swedish panel data, Anders Bjorkland and Mårten Palme
9. Earnings Dispersion, Low Pay, and Household Poverty in Italy, 1977-1998, Andrea Brandolini, Piero Cippollone, and Paolo Sestito
10. Changes in Home Production and Trends in Economic Inequality, Peter Gottschalk and Susan E. Mayer
11. Unequal Societies: Income distribution and the social contract, Roland Bénabou
12. Unemployment, Specialization, and Collective Preferences for Social Insurance, John Hassler, José V. Rodríguez Mora, Kjetil Storesletten, and Fabrizio Zilibotti

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