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Social Evils - From Unemployment to Idleness to Prejudice. Some Suggestions for Mapping the Modern Equivalents of These Old Evils onto New Injustices


  • Danny Dorling

    (University of Sheffield)


In the midst of World War II the economist William Beveridge christened five social evils, all to be eradicated in Britain: ignorance, want, idleness, disease and squalor. Although Britain took its lead from developments elsewhere, to an extent that would have been hard to imagine in the 1930s, the very worst manifestations of each of these five evils had been overcome by the 1970s. However, from then onwards each evil transformed its appearance. In this paper I briefly argue that the new form of the five had features respectively of revised elitism, exclusion, prejudice, despair and greed.

Suggested Citation

  • Danny Dorling, 2010. "Social Evils - From Unemployment to Idleness to Prejudice. Some Suggestions for Mapping the Modern Equivalents of These Old Evils onto New Injustices," Review of Economic Analysis, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, vol. 2(1), pages 3-19, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ren:journl:v:2:y:2010:i:1:p:3-19

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Feige, Edgar L. & Cebula, Richard, 2011. "America’s unreported economy: measuring the size, growth and determinants of income tax evasion in the U.S," MPRA Paper 34781, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item


    Ignorance; Want; Idleness; Disease; Squalor; Elitism; Exclusion; Prejudice; Despair and Greed;

    JEL classification:

    • B5 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches
    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values


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