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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.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Review of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 251-267

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Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:24:y:2010:i:3:p:251-267
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