Articles on Inequality

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Is the right to pursue happiness equally available to all Americans? Josh Hallett

The fragile American Dream: insights from the economics of happiness

Foundation essay: This article is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the US. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis articles and take a wider look…
The Slave Trade painted by a French abolitionist artist.

Slavery in America: back in the headlines

Foundation essay: This article is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the US. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis articles and take a wider look…
Long-term reforms are required to address the causes of early school leaving. Shutterstock

Keeping kids in school is not as simple as carrots and sticks

The OECD’s 2009 Jobs for Youth report, released on the heels of the global financial crisis, made a number of policy recommendations to the Australian government to prevent a rise in youth unemployment…
Australia’s highest paid CEO Nicholas Moore saw his salary grow to $13.1 million this year. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

CEO pay study shows how much Australians tolerate inequality

Almost everyone in a study soon to be published in Perspectives on Psychological Science thinks chief executive officers are paid significantly too much - almost everyone it suggests, except Australians…
Be fair, lad. Warren Goldswain

The human race evolved to be fair for selfish reasons

“Make sure you play fairly,” often say parents to their kids. In fact, children do not need encouragement to be fair, it is a unique feature of human social life, which emerges in childhood. When given…
Counting your blessings. A worker at a chocolate factory in Germany. Jan Woitas/EPA

German labour markets put Europe’s workforce in the firing line

Germany’s strategy for export-led growth has set the Eurozone up for a fall. Plans to introduce minimum wages in 2015 might be too little too late for European countries locked in a futile game of beggar-thy-workforce…
Mourners at the funeral of Michael Brown on August 25. St.Louise Post-Dispath/Pool/EPA

Epidemic of rights abuse fails black kids across the US

As the world grapples with the containment of diseases such as Ebola, there is another epidemic that demands attentive responses, policies, and actions. It is one of grave proportions regarding the violation…
Generation austerity no longer believes the future will be better than the present. lilgamerboy14

Austerity has hampered our ability to imagine a better future

In the UK and other parts of the Western world, the notion that we are progressing towards a better future has been a consistent, if not entirely uninterrupted, ideal. But in recent years, this idea seems…
Has our use of economics language been a real driver of economic growth? Cau Napoli Collettivo Autorganizzato Universitario di Napoli/Flickr

Speak well of the bourgeois, and prosper

Do the words we use to speak of economic matters, matter? I believe they do, but not by the propagation of textbookish jargon. Rather, the main way they matter is in shaping public ethics. Economics has…
Poorer people are more vulnerable to the impact of extreme weather events. Pictured: the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. DFID - UK Department for International Development/Flickr

Climate change will widen the social and health gap

Climate projections suggest that, thanks to human activity, we will likely see an increase in extreme weather events, disruptions to agriculture, loss of livelihoods and displacement of people. While everyone…
Nobel Laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz says Australia should make sure its international “brand name” is for its high-quality services. EPA/Arne Dedert

Audio Q&A: Professor Joseph Stiglitz on inequality, rent-seeking and Australia’s ‘brand name’

Nobel Laureate and renowned economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz has been packing out lecture theatres in Australia in the past week. During his whirlwind tour, he’s talked about why inequality matters…
Joe Hockey greets Sydney Institute executive director Gerard Henderson ahead of a speech arguing the merits of the budget. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Hockey’s fairness lecture won’t help him fix the budget

One month on, the job of selling Australia’s budget continues. Treasurer Joe Hockey argues criticism of the budget has been unfair and misguided, akin to class warfare. He has countered the critics by…

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