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

ISBN : 9780199687428

Brian Nolan; Wiemer Salverda; Daniele Checchi; Ive Marx; Abigail McKnight; Istvan Gyorgy Toth; Herman G. van de Werfhorst
784 ページ
181 x 253 mm

There has been a remarkable upsurge of debate about increasing inequalities and their societal implications, reinforced by the economic crisis but bubbling to the surface before it. This has been seen in popular discourse, media coverage, political debate, and research in the social sciences. The central questions addressed by this book, and the major research project GINI on which it is based, are: - Have inequalities in income, wealth and education increased over the past 30 years or so across the rich countries, and if so why? - What are the social, cultural and political impacts of increasing inequalities in income, wealth and education? - What are the implications for policy and for the future development of welfare states? In seeking to answer these questions, this book adopts an interdisciplinary approach that draws on economics, sociology, and political science, and applies a common analytical framework to the experience of 30 advanced countries, namely all the EU member states except Cyprus and Malta, together with the USA, Japan, Canada, Australia and South Korea. It presents a description and analysis of the experience of each of these countries over the past three decades, together with an introduction, an overview of inequality trends, and a concluding chapter highlighting key findings and implications. These case-studies bring out the variety of country experiences and the importance of framing inequality trends in the institutional and policy context of each country if one is to adequately capture and understand the evolution of inequality and its impacts.


1. Introduction
2. Revisiting Grand Narratives of Growing Inequalities: Lessons From 30 Country Studies
3. Australia: Inequality and Prosperity and their Impacts in a Radical Welfare State
4. Austria: The Bastion of Calm? Stability and Change in Inequalities in Times of Welfare State Reforms and Employment Flexibilization
5. Between Economic Growth and Social Justice: Different Inequality Dynamics in the Baltic States
6. Belgium: When Growing Background Inequalities Meet Resilient Institutions
7. Bulgaria: Rising Inequality in the Period of Transition and Restrictive Incomes Policy
8. Rising Inequality and Its Impact in Canada: The Role of National Debt
9. Sources and Impact of Rising Inequality in Denmark
10. Finland: Growing Inequality with contested consequences
11. France: How Taxation Can Increase Inequality
12. Germany: Rising Inequality and the Transformation of Rhine Capitalism
13. Greece: The (Eventual) Social Hardship of Soft Budget Constraints
14. Hungary: A Country Caught in its Own Trap
15. Ireland: Inequality and its Impacts in Boom and Bust
16. Italy: How Labour Market Policies Can Foster Earnings Inequality
17. Rising Inequality in Japan: A Challenge Caused by Population Aging and Drastic Changes in Employment
18. Korea: The Great U-Turn in Inequality and the Need for Social Security Provisions
19. Luxembourg: Has Inequality Grown Enough to Matter?
20. The Netherlands: Policy-Enhanced Inequalities Tempered by Household Formation
21. The Rise of Inequalities in Poland and their Impacts: When Politicians Don't Care but Citizens Do
22. Portugal: There and Back Again, An Inequality's Tale
23. Romania: High Rising Inequality over Two Decades of Post Communist Transformation
24. Slovakia and the Czech Republic: Inequalities and Convergences after the Velvet Divorce
25. Slovenia: An Equal Society Despite the Transition
26. Spain: What Can We Learn From Past Decreasing Inequalities?
27. Sweden: Increasing Income Inequalities and Changing Social Relations
28. Divided We Fall? The Wider Consequences of High and Unrelenting Inequality in the UK
29. The United States: High and Rapidly-Rising Inequality
30. Learning from Diversity about Increasing Inequality, its Impacts, and Responses?


The seven editors together have organised and coordinated the 3.5-year Growing Inequalities' Impacts GINI project, which has generated the results reported in this volume. They are an international team drawn from different disciplines and with important and complementary expertise in the fields covered by the book. They share a history of joint publications, including edited volumes, and extensive cooperation in research networks such LoWER (European Low-wage Employment Research network, 1996-2008), Equalsoc (Network of Excellence, since 2005), and ImPRovE (Poverty Reduction in Europe: Social Policy and Innovation, since 2012).