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Integration, social distress, and policy formation

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  • Stark, Oded

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stark, Oded, 2012. "Integration, social distress, and policy formation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 318-321.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:115:y:2012:i:2:p:318-321
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2011.12.027
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stark, Oded & Fan, C. Simon, 2011. "Migration for degrading work as an escape from humiliation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 241-247, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Oded Stark & Walter Hyll & Yong Wang, 2012. "Endogenous Selection of Comparison Groups, Human Capital Formation, and Tax Policy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(313), pages 62-75, January.
    4. Oded Stark & Walter Hyll, 2011. "On the Economic Architecture of the Workplace: Repercussions of Social Comparisons among Heterogeneous Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 349-375.
    5. 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, May.
    6. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-324.
    7. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Reply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 575-576.
    8. John D. Hey & Peter J. Lambert, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 567-573.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Integration of regions; Merger of populations; Revision of social space; Aggregate relative deprivation; Social distress; Policy responses;

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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