Economic inequality and redistribution policies
Income and wealth concentration have been increasing across the globe, albeit with important country differences. A share of inequality registered in the data is driven by market forces, and may be socially tolerated. Another share of inequality arises instead from factors beyond individual control: the country and political situation one experiences, the social context, the neighborhood and the family of origin. While advanced welfare and education systems in developed economies compensate for these differences, high-income inequality and high inequality of opportunity remain defining traits of low- or medium-income economies. Perceptions about inequality play an important role in the demand for redistribution, while inequalities perceived as unfair can hurt people and lead to unrest. Progressive taxation, which is receiving renewed interest in developed economies, can contribute to reduce inequalities in outcomes, albeit its ability to accomplish this goal has been limited in many less developed economies. Educational policy is considered the mean par excellence to level the playing field, albeit little causal evidence is available on its implications for reducing inequality of opportunity from the start.
In this special issue of ECONOMIA, we seek to attract papers discussing the interplay between redistributive policies and the patterns of economic inequality, intergenerational mobility and inequality of opportunity in both low-income and advanced countries, even in perspective. Our primary interest is on papers analyzing the extent at which taxation systems and tax reforms, as well as education policies, affect the distribution of income heterogeneously across background characteristics. The topic of perceptions and beliefs about inequality and (the political economy of) support for redistribution is also central to this call. Theoretical, applied and methodological contributions studying trends and geographic patterns in inequality, inequality of (basic) opportunities, public support for redistribution and tax policies, (mis-)perceptions of inequality and how beliefs about fairness in the distribution and redistribution of income are also welcome.
Francesco Andreoli. Department of Economics, University of Verona and Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for manuscript submissions:
15 July 2021.