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Inequality is one of the most discussed topics of our times. Yet, we still do not know how to tackle the issue effectively. The book argues that this is due to the lack of understanding the structures responsible for the persistence of social inequality. It enquires into the mechanisms that produce and reproduce invisible dividing lines in society. Based on original case studies of Brazil, Germany, India and Laos comprising thousands of interviews, the authors argue that invisible classes emerge in capitalist societies, both reproducing and transforming precapitalist hierarchies. At the same time, locally particular forms of inequality persist. Social inequality in the contemporary world has to be understood as a specific combination of precapitalist inequalities, capitalist transformation and a particular class structure, which seems to emerge in all capitalist societies. The book links the configurations to an interpretation of global domination as well as to symbolic classification.
Inequality remains one of the most intensely discussed topics on a global level. As well as figuring prominently in economics, it is possibly the most central topic of sociology. Despite this, there has been no book until now that unites approaches from economics and sociology. Organized thematically, this volume brings international scholars together to offer students and researchers a cutting-edge overview of the core topics of inequality research. Chapters cover: the theoretical traditions in economics and sociology; the global and national structures of inequality in the contemporary world; the main dimensions of inequality (including gender, race, caste, migration, education and poverty); and research methodology. In presenting this overview, Inequality in Economics and Sociology seeks to build a bridge between the disciplines and the approaches. This book offers an encompassing understanding of an increasingly fragmented and highly specialized field of research. It will be invaluable for students and researchers seeking a single repository on the current state of knowledge, current debates and relevant literature in this key area.
Many years on after the 2007–8 financial crisis, most developed nations still find themselves in a state of weak recovery, high debt pile-up and distributive disparity. The intriguing question that we face is whether the golden days of modern capitalism are over, or if capitalism is just undergoing another period of adjustment characteristic of its past. What is disheartening is that the twin economic goals of sustainable growth and equality, which the world has now come to recognise as of paramount importance but mutually conflicting, remain, more now than ever, illusive and unattainable. Growth Without Inequality attempts to address this issue and to provide a pragmatic solution especially for nations in the current policy gridlock. By offering a unified framework of factors that drive growth, it shows how growth also gives rise to an array of "anomalous market forms" (defined by different degrees of value and risk visibility) that subvert distributive equity between labour and capital. It debunks both the pure free market solution and the mixed economy approach on the ground that they fail to arrest the growth propelling yet subversive power inherent in the "corporate forms" under the present capitalistic regime. Having shown that effective reform can hardly take place within the system itself, this book proposes to build a separate sector (Economy II) and partition it from the existing system (Economy I). The solution is easy to implement and quick to take effect. By one single stroke, this "Non-Marxist" solution can happily achieve the ideals of both "competitive capitalism" and "egalitarian socialism".
Recently, the issue of inequality has regained attention in the economic and political debate. This is due to both an increase in income inequality, in particular among rich countries, and an increasing interest in this issue by researchers and politicians. In the last three decades, income inequality among rich countries increased. This period also witnessed the growth of "financial capitalism", characterised by the strong dependency of economies on the financial sector, by the globalisation and intensification of international trade and capital mobility, and by the "flexibilisation" of labour markets and the reduction of wage shares. From the 1980s to the present day, this book considers the theoretical aspects of inequality (its foundations, definitions, approaches and origins) and examines empirical evidence of income inequality in a wide range of advanced economies. The key arguments in this volume are that income inequality increased during this period because labour and welfare became seen as costs to be compressed in "financial capitalism" rather than as a fundamental part of aggregate demand to be expanded. However, the welfare state is not a drain on economic performance and competitiveness, nor is it a barrier to economic efficiency. Instead, it is demonstrated that in countries that adopt "welfare capitalism", welfare state expenditure not only contributes to a reduction in inequality but also fosters economic growth. Inequality in Financial Capitalism is of great importance to those who study economics, political economy, labour economics and globalisation.
There is enormous inequality between the income and wealth of the richest 1 percent and all other Americans. While the top 1 percent own 42 percent of all wealth in America, the lower half on the income ladder has only 2 percent of all of the wealth. This book develops a viewpoint contrary to the prevailing conservative paradigm, setting out both reasons for this inequality and the impact of this. To explain inequality, conservative economists focus on individual characteristics such as intelligence and hard work. This book puts forward new evidence to show that changes in economic inequality are primarily due to characteristics inherent in the standard operation of capitalist institutions. Furthermore, the authors seek to explain the cycle of boom and bust by considering political and social factors often overlooked by conservative economists. This book also explores how wealth influences political policies in a way that increases economic inequality even more than its present level. Through analysis of American political and economic institutions, Inequality, Boom, and Bust presents concrete steps for an activist, progressive policy to greatly reduce inequality through free healthcare, free higher education, and reduced unemployment.
During its 500-year history, the modern world-system has seen several shifts in hegemony. Yet, since the decline of the U.S. in the 1970s, no single core power has attained a hegemonic position in an increasingly polarized world. As income inequalities have become more pronounced in core countries, especially in the U.S. and the U.K., global inequalities emerged as a "new" topic of social scientific scholarship, ignoring the constant move toward polarization that has been characteristic of the entire modern world-system. At the same time, the rise of new states (most notably, the BRICS) and the relative economic growth of particular regions (especially East Asia) have prompted speculations about the next hegemon that largely disregard both the longue durée of hegemonic shifts and the constraints that regional differentiations place on the concentration of capital and geopolitical power in one location. Authors in this book place the issue of rising inequalities at the center of their analyses. They explore the concept and reality of semiperipheries in the 21st century world-system, the role of the state and of transnational migration in current patterns of global stratification, types of catching-up development and new spatial configurations of inequality in Europe’s Eastern periphery as well as the prospects for the Global Left in the new systemic order. The book links novel theoretical debates on the rise of global inequalities to methodologically innovative approaches to the urgent task of addressing them.
In the years following the financial crash, two issues have become central to the debate in economics: inequality and the uneven nature of sustainable development. These two issues are at the core of this book which aims to explain three key questions: why inequality has increased so much in the last three decades; why most advanced economies are stagnating or are experiencing moderate economic growth; and why, even where economic growth is occurring, the quality of that growth is questioned. Inequality and Uneven Development in the Post-Crisis World is divided into three parts. The first part concerns the theoretical aspects of inequality, and ethical issues regarding economics and equality. The second part explores empirical evidence and policy suggestions drawing on the uneven levels of development and unprecedented levels of inequality experienced among advanced economies in the context of global financial capitalism. The third part focuses on sustainable development issues such as full employment, social costs of global trade liberalization, environmental sustainability and ecological issues. Along with inequality these issues are central for capitalism and for economic development. This volume is of interest to those who study political economy, sustainable development and social inequality.

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