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

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  • Alesina, Alberto

    (Harvard University)

  • Glaeser, Edward

    (Harvard University)

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    Abstract

    As events highlight deep divisions in attitudes between America and Europe, this is a very timely study of different approaches to the problems of domestic inequality and poverty. Based on careful and systematic analysis of national data, the authors describe just how much the two continents differ in their level of State engagement in the redistribution of income. Discussing various possible economic explanations for the difference, they cover 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. Most importantly, they address attitudes to race, calculating that attitudes to race explain half the observed difference in levels of public redistribution of income. This important and provocative analysis will captivate academic and serious lay readers in economics and welfare systems.

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    Bibliographic Info

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    This book is provided by Oxford University Press in its series OUP Catalogue with number 9780199286102 and published in 2005.

    ISBN: 9780199286102
    Order: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199286102.do
    Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199286102

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    Web page: http://www.oup.com/

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    Cited by:
    1. Alberto Alesina & Bryony Reich, 2013. "Nation Building," NBER Working Papers 18839, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bergh, Andreas, 2006. "Explaining Welfare State Survival: The Role of Economic Freedom and Globalization," Ratio Working Papers 101, The Ratio Institute.
    3. Feigl, Andrea B. & Ding, Eric L., 2013. "Evidenced Formal Coverage Index and universal healthcare enactment: A prospective longitudinal study of economic, social, and political predictors of 194 countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 50-60.
    4. Eisenkopf, Gerald & Fischbacher, Urs & Föllmi-Heusi, Franziska, 2013. "Unequal opportunities and distributive justice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 51-61.
    5. Jon Olaskoaga-Larrauri & Ricardo Aláez-Aller & Pablo Díaz-de-Basurto, 2010. "Measuring is Believing! Improving Conventional Indicators of Welfare State Development," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 96(1), pages 113-131, March.
    6. Steven Poelhekke, 2006. "Do Amenities and Diversity Encourage City Growth? A Link Through Skilled Labor," Economics Working Papers ECO2006/10, European University Institute.
    7. Elena Bárcena-Martín & Ana I. Moro Egido, 2013. "Country differences in the gender effect on poverty in Europe," ThE Papers 13/02, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..

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