Friday, 25 September 2015


Various recent interesting things about inequality.

(1) Elite Americans don't care about it, even if they are very left-wing. "Yale Law students’ overwhelming, indeed almost eccentric, commitment to efficiency over equality is all the more astonishing given that the students self-identified as Democrats rather than Republicans—and thus sided with the party that claims to represent economic equality in partisan politics—by a factor of more than 10-to-1".

(2) It turns out that there's not much of it in Britain, not really, not if you bear in mind that "poorest in any given year are not always poor for their entire lives" (e.g. students, unemployed between jobs, pensioners). (It's a bit like how the rise in the minimum wage helps a lot of people who are not in need of it, e.g., dabbling second earners in well-off households and students on their summer jobs.) Interestingly, although "the benefit cuts of the late 1980s reduced benefits and increased cross-sectional inequality, it had a much more muted effect on lifetime inequality. And, similarly, although Gordon Brown's massive expansion of means-tested tax credits in the 2000s reduced cross-sectional inequality, they had very little impact on cutting lifetime inequality."

(3) Finally, it's all going to be reduced massively across the world because, just like after the Black Death, there are going to be many fewer workers.

No comments:

Post a Comment