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Integration, social distress, and policy formation

  • Stark, Oded

I study the integration of regions in the form of a merger of populations, which I interpret as a revision of people’s social space and their comparison set; I illustrate the way in which a merger can aggravate social distress; and I consider policy responses. Specifically, I view the merger of populations as a merger of income vectors; I measure social distress by aggregate relative deprivation; I demonstrate that a merger increases aggregate relative deprivation; and I show that a social planner is able to reverse this increase by means of least-cost, post-merger increases in individual incomes, but is unable to counter it by relying exclusively on a self-contained income redistribution that retains individual levels of wellbeing at their pre-merger levels.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165176511005404
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 115 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 318-321

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:115:y:2012:i:2:p:318-321
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

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  1. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-24, May.
  2. Stark, Oded & Fan, C. Simon, 2010. "Migration for degrading work as an escape from humiliation," MPRA Paper 28905, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Hey, John D & Lambert, Peter J, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 567-73, November.
  4. Oded Stark & Walter Hyll & Yong Wang, 2010. "Endogenous Selection of Comparison Groups, Human Capital Formation, and Tax Policy," Vienna Economics Papers 1009, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  5. Oded Stark, 2010. "Looking at the Integration of Nations through the Lens of the Merger of Populations: Preliminary Superadditivity and Impossibility Results," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(IV), pages 661-675, December.
  6. C. Simon Fan & Oded Stark, 2011. "A Theory Of Migration As A Response To Occupational Stigma," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(2), pages 549-571, 05.
  7. Stark, Oded & Hyll, Walter, 2011. "On the economic architecture of the workplace: Repercussions of social comparisons among heterogeneous workers," MPRA Paper 28910, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Reply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 575-76, November.
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