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Lane Kenworthy on Jobs and Equality

This book does not speak to the question of inequality’s impact on economic growth. I assume that if countries with low inequality were (on average) able to grow just as rapidly as their high-inequality counterparts in the 1980s and 1990s, they may be able to do so over the next few decades as well. The question that motivates the book is: How can affluent countries maintain or move toward low inequality? .. Low income inequality is an increasingly difficult goal. Inequality in the market distribution of income - that is before taxes and government transfers are taken into account - has been rising during the past two decades in many of these countries. … One reason for this is that employment shifts from manufacturing to services, union fragmentation, decentralization of wage setting, globalization, technological change, and other developments have contributed to wage stagnation at the low end of teh distribution … Several other developments have reinforced and accentuated the impact of heightened earnings inequality … An increasingly common view, which I share, is that a key to limiting the growth of inequality in the face of these various pressures and constraints is to increase the employment rate.

Lane Kenworthy (2007), Jobs with Equality. Draft book manuscript. Available here.

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