Thinking about Inequality: Personal Judgment and Income Distributions

Thinking about Inequality: Personal Judgment and Income Distributions

Thinking about Inequality: Personal Judgment and Income Distributions

Thinking about Inequality: Personal Judgment and Income Distributions

Excerpt

This book started life during a conversation at the LSE in the late 1980s. One author suggested to the other the shocking thought that the standard approach to the study of economic inequality and income distribution might be all wrong. Somehow this led to an even more shocking thought: that we might investigate whether this was so by asking other people, lots of them. This led to a full-scale research project which resulted in a number of papers (see Amiel and Cowell, 1992, 1994a, 1994b, 1995, 1996, 1997a, 1997b, 1998a, 1999) and finally to this volume which draws together the main results of the research project.

The number of people to whom we have become indebted in the course of preparing this book is enormous. First, our thanks go to Hayka Amiel who started the thought running that eventually led to the research for this book (see chapter 1 for this story). We would also like to acknowledge the input of Avraham Polovin, who has collaborated with us in our related work on risk, and of Eytan Sheshinski, who acted as joint supervisor (with Frank Cowell) of Yoram Amiel’s Ph.D. thesis; some of the ideas which have been developed in this book had their origin in Yoram’s thesis. Our thanks too for the patience of Mary Roye, Erik Schokkaert and colleagues at the Ruppin Institute who read the text and provided many useful comments. We are also grateful to Tony Atkinson, Gary Fields, Serge Kolm and Amartya Sen for helpful discussions, to Janet Stockdale for helping us with the questionnaire design, and to all those colleagues who patiently ran questionnaire sessions in classes or lecture groups: Gideon Amit, Gershon Ben-Shahar, Stuart Birks, Dieter Bös, Sorel Cahan, John Creedy, Rolf Cremer, Wolfgang Eichhorn, Gideon Fishelson, John Formby, Wulf Gaertner, Jim Gordon, Charles Greenbaum, Boyd Hunter, Jochen Jungeilges, Karl Jungenfeldt, Reuben Kahana, David Levhari, Avishai Margalit, Dalia Mor, Mårten Palme, Tomasz Panek, Wilhelm Pfähler, David Pines, Avraham Polovin, Eli Sagi, Abba Schwartz, Moshe Semionov, Ramii Shalom, Jacques Silber, Dan Slottje, Tehila Tamir, Harald Wiese, Yossi Yahav and Yitzhak Zilcha. After the . . .

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