Chapter

The Significance of the Statistical Record

Henry Phelps Brown

in Egalitarianism and the Generation of Inequality

Published in print November 1988 | ISBN: 9780198286486
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596773 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198286481.003.0017
 The Significance of the Statistical Record

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Reasons were given in the Introduction to this book for approaching an assessment of egalitarianism by way of a study of actual distributions of income and wealth. Information about the actual state of affairs evidently affects the choice of practical policy, but it will influence judgement about the ends no less than the means. That judgement is formed not by contemplating a Platonic essence of equality, the same beneath all its manifestations, but in reaction to particular circumstances, or in the light of our view of them. This chapter accordingly is meant to bring out some of the ways in which that view is affected by knowledge of the facts as those have been surveyed in Part II of the book. These matters are discussed in four sections: The form and extent of inequality; How distributions are generated; The sources of past change; and The possibilities of deliberate change.

Keywords: change; deliberate change; egalitarianism; equality; income distribution; inequality; statistics; wealth distribution

Chapter.  7279 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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