IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Integration, social distress, and policy formation


  • Stark, Oded


I study the integration of regions in the form of a merger of populations, which I interpret as a revision of people’s social space and their comparison set; I illustrate the way in which a merger can aggravate social distress; and I consider policy responses. Specifically, I view the merger of populations as a merger of income vectors; I measure social distress by aggregate relative deprivation; I demonstrate that a merger increases aggregate relative deprivation; and I show that a social planner is able to reverse this increase by means of least-cost, post-merger increases in individual incomes, but is unable to counter it by relying exclusively on a self-contained income redistribution that retains individual levels of wellbeing at their pre-merger levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Stark, Oded, 2012. "Integration, social distress, and policy formation," Discussion Papers 120179, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ubzefd:120179

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stark, Oded & Fan, C. Simon, 2011. "Migration for degrading work as an escape from humiliation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 241-247, March.
    2. Oded Stark, 2010. "Looking at the Integration of Nations through the Lens of the Merger of Populations: Preliminary Superadditivity and Impossibility Results," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(IV), pages 661-675, December.
    3. Oded Stark & Walter Hyll & Yong Wang, 2012. "Endogenous Selection of Comparison Groups, Human Capital Formation, and Tax Policy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(313), pages 62-75, January.
    4. C. Simon Fan & Oded Stark, 2011. "A Theory Of Migration As A Response To Occupational Stigma," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(2), pages 549-571, May.
    5. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-324.
    6. Oded Stark & Walter Hyll, 2011. "On the Economic Architecture of the Workplace: Repercussions of Social Comparisons among Heterogeneous Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 349-375.
    7. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Reply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 575-576.
    8. John D. Hey & Peter J. Lambert, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 567-573.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Integration of regions; Merger of populations; Revision of social space; Aggregate relative deprivation; Social distress; Policy responses; Community/Rural/Urban Development; International Relations/Trade; D04; D63; F55; H53; P51;

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:ubzefd:120179. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.