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Social inequality, technology and economic growth


  • Chris Freeman


It is a matter of common observation that inequalities have been increasing in almost every part of the world in the 1980s and 1990s, reversing the more egalitarian trends which prevailed in the early post-war period. This chapter seeks to show: 1) that some alternating phases of retrenchment and egalitarian trends have been characteristic of industrial capitalist societies throughout the 19th and 20th centuries and 2) that these long swings of social policy are related to the diffusion of major new technologies in the economic system. Finally, the chapter discusses very briefly a few of the main directions in which social policy should move if the present inegalitarian trends are to be reversed.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Freeman, 2007. "Social inequality, technology and economic growth," Globelics Working Paper Series 2007-05, Globelics - Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems, Aalborg University, Department of Business and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:glowps:2007-05

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