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The systemic nature of the rise in inequality in developed economies


  • Pascal Petit


The rise in inequality in the last two decades has affected most developed economies. The systemic nature of this inequality is the focus of this paper. A combination of product market internationalization, financial globalization and technological changes favoring large organizations created asymmetric pressure on the two ends of the distribution of market incomes, resulting in greatly increased inequality. A widespread credo of political liberalism prevented governments from using taxes and transfers to check this rise in income inequality. Changes in relative prices and borrowing facilities brought some support to the standards of living of low-income groups but also contributed to increased instability of these economies. The global financial crisis was one of the possible crisis scenarios that rising inequality was bound to produce. The paper assesses the cumulative factors behind the rise in inequality. These factors reduce the capacity of industrial economies to face the challenges of ever-changing environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascal Petit, 2010. "The systemic nature of the rise in inequality in developed economies," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3), pages 251-267.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:24:y:2010:i:3:p:251-267
    DOI: 10.1080/02692171003701396

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Christoph Hanck, 2009. "Cointegration tests of PPP: do they also exhibit erratic behaviour?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 9-15.
    2. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Mario Cerrato, 2006. "Panel data tests of PPP: a critical overview," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1-2), pages 73-91.
    3. Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Pittis, Nikitas & Sakellis, Panayiotis, 2003. "Testing for PPP: the erratic behaviour of unit root tests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 277-284, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leena Kalliovirta & Tuomas Malinen, 2015. "Nonlinearity and cross-country dependence of income inequality," Working Papers 358, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. Paolo Ramazzotti, 2013. "Shared economic thought and the neglect of social costs. Why progressive economists often stick to conventional wisdom," Working Papers 71-2013, Macerata University, Department of Finance and Economic Sciences, revised Dec 2015.


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