GINI Intermediate Report WP 4: Social Impacts of Inequalities
Rising inequalities in earnings and household incomes and an fracturing of employment into “good” versus “bad” jobs may have deep-seated social impacts, at the individual, household and societal level. These include increases in poverty and deprivation, in stress and unhappiness, in gender inequalities, in family breakdown and teenage pregnancy, in childhood disadvantage and educational failure, in health inequalities, in crime and disorder, in social immobility, and in polarisation and increasing fragmentation between communities, ethnic groups, regions and social classes. All of these feature, for example, in The Spirit Level by Wilkinson and Pickett (2009) which has been particularly influential in fuelling debate. The relevant research literature at the start of the GINI project covered a very broad field, drawing on a variety of disciplinary perspectives, as summarised at the outset in the State of the Art Review. The project has sought to build on this research, to deepen understanding of key channels of influence and the causal relationships via which such social impacts could potentially arise, and to assess empirically the extent to which they could actually be identified. Here we bring together the key findings of the research on these topics carried out under the project, drawing on the Discussion Papers (DPs) by participants and related publications. We focus in turn on the impact of increasing inequalities on: * Poverty, deprivation and social “risks”; * Gender, the family and fertility; * Health and health inequalities; * Wealth, inter-generational transmission and housing; * Social cohesion and wellbeing.
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