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Economic inequality, an introduction


  • Maurizio Franzini

    () (Università di Roma “La Sapienza”)

  • Mario Pianta

    () (Department of Economics, Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo")


In this paper we offer an introductory exploration of inequality, considering how political economy has analysed economic inequality. Its roots in market processes and in the functional distribution of income are investigated, considering the role of human capital, technological change and globalisation, and the relevance of intergenerational inequalities. We then consider the impact that public policies can have on inequalities through taxation, welfare expenditures, the provision of public services, redistribution and other actions.

Suggested Citation

  • Maurizio Franzini & Mario Pianta, 2011. "Economic inequality, an introduction," Working Papers 1102, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:urb:wpaper:11_02

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    3. Hommes, Cars H., 2006. "Heterogeneous Agent Models in Economics and Finance," Handbook of Computational Economics,in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 23, pages 1109-1186 Elsevier.
    4. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1993. "Financial Market Imperfections and Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 77-114.
    5. Alan Kirman, 1993. "Ants, Rationality, and Recruitment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 137-156.
    6. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 11-26, Part II, .
    7. Aoki,Masanao, 2004. "Modeling Aggregate Behavior and Fluctuations in Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521606196, March.
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    More about this item


    Inequality; Distribution; Welfare.;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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