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Politics, Not Economics, Ultimately Drives Inequality

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  • Jon D. Wisman

Abstract

Depicting economic inequality as a product of natural economic forces is the ideology that itself has led to greater inequality, argues the author. Ideology has had a part in rising inequality for centuries. Now it takes the form of a supposed “objective” science of economics. This is the challenge, writes the author, that those who seek more equal incomes now face.

Suggested Citation

  • Jon D. Wisman, 2017. "Politics, Not Economics, Ultimately Drives Inequality," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 60(4), pages 347-367, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:challe:v:60:y:2017:i:4:p:347-367
    DOI: 10.1080/05775132.2017.1320906
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Philippon & Ariell Reshef, 2012. "Wages and Human Capital in the U.S. Finance Industry: 1909--2006," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1551-1609.
    2. Bhashkar Mazumder, 2005. "Fortunate Sons: New Estimates of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States Using Social Security Earnings Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 235-255, May.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    4. William Easterly, 2002. "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550423, January.
    5. Jon D. Wisman & James F. Smith, 2011. "Legitimating Inequality: Fooling Most of the People All of the Time," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 974-1013, October.
    6. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2013. "Defending the One Percent," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 21-34, Summer.
    7. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    8. Lindert, Peter H, 1986. "Unequal English Wealth since 1670," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1127-1162, December.
    9. Srinivasan, T.N., 1977. "Development, Poverty, and Basic Human Needs: Some Issues," Food Research Institute Studies, Stanford University, Food Research Institute, vol. 16(2), pages 1-18.
    10. Robert Wade, 2012. "Why Has Income Inequality Remained on the Sidelines of Public Policy for So Long?," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(3), pages 21-50.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • B00 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General - - - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy

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