Class, Community, Inequality
Dasgupta, Indraneel; Kanbur, Ravi
We investigate how voluntary contributions to community-specific public goods affect (a) the relationship between inequality of incomes and inequality of welfare outcomes, and (b) individuals’ material incentives for supporting income redistribution. We show that the nominal distribution of income could give quite a misleading picture of real inequality and tensions in society, both within and between communities. We also analyze the impact of alternative patterns of income growth on welfare inequality, and show that, somewhat paradoxically, individuals sometimes have incentives for opposing redistribution programs from which they themselves stand to receive income increments. This arises because of the complicating role of public goods, and has strong implications for class and community solidarity.
WP 2001-24 December 2001JEL Classification Codes: D31; D63; D74; Z13
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
Community; Public goods; Inequality; Distribution; Polarization; Class Conflict; Ethnic Conflict