Economic inequality: causes, consequences and proposals for its reduction
For a long time the issue of inequality in the distribution of income and wealth has been ignored by economists. This was the effect of the idea that larger economic equity would reduce incentives for people to produce the right effort to improve their situation and, as a result, would impair economic efficiency. Over the last years, however, many scholars, including Stiglitz, Atkinson, Deaton, Krugman, Bourguignon, Piketty and Milanovic, and international institutions, like the OECD and the IMF, together with some NGOs like OXFAM, have been devoting their attention to economic inequality. In reality, some of those authors and institutions have been dealing with this issue for a long time already.
The reasons for this renewed attention should be found in the negative effects of the increased economic inequality resulting from the policies that have been followed over the last three-four decades, and in the consequences that this trend may produce even more dramatically in the future, in terms of endemic conflicts and crisis of social cohesion.
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