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Inequality and the Anglo-American Economic Model

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  • George Irvin

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    Abstract

    The rollback of the state and the redistribution initiated during the Reagan-Thatcher period in the US and Britain has resulted in these countries being the least egalitarian in the OECD, with wages increasingly de-coupled from productivity growth and gains accruing to top CEOs. The view that inequality is attributable solely to the new premium on human capital is challenged; it is argued that inequality has resulted from mainly from personal tax breaks and the corporate drive for ‘shareholder value’. The social costs are evident from the sociological and epidemiological evidence. Equally, inequality has helped fuel US consumer spending, facilitated by low interest rates, holding gains and credit deregulation. The result is a ‘triple deficit’. The risk is that by relying exclusively on market-led devaluation, a crisis of confidence will result; righting financial imbalances requires not merely a Plaza-type solution, but a major reversal in the growth of inequality.

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    File URL: http://www.icer.it/docs/wp2007/ICERwp26-07.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers with number 26-2007.

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    Length: 34 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:26-2007

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Carola Frydman & Dirk Jenter, 2010. "CEO Compensation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3277, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. McKinnon, Ronald & Schnabl, Gunther, 2006. "Devaluing the dollar: A critical analysis of William Cline's case for a New Plaza Agreement," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 683-694, September.
    3. John Schmitt & Ben Zipperer, 2006. "Is the U.S. a Good Model for Reducing Social Exclusion in Europe?," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2006-17, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    4. Dew-Becker, Ian & Gordon, Robert J, 2005. "Where did the Productivity Growth Go? Inflation Dynamics and the Distribution of Income," CEPR Discussion Papers 5419, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Ian Dew-Becker & Robert J. Gordon, 2005. "Where Did Productivity Growth Go? Inflation Dynamics and the Distribution of Income," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(2), pages 67-150.
    6. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Distribution of Income and Wealth among Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 382-97, July.
    7. Piketty, Thomas & Saez, Emmanuel, 2006. "How Progessive is the US Federal Tax System? An Historical and International Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 5778, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Offer, Avner, 2007. "The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain since 1950," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199216628, September.
    9. Papatheodorou, Christos & Pavlopoulos, Dimitris, 2003. "Accounting for inequality in the EU: Income disparities between and within member states and overall income inequality," MPRA Paper 209, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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