Thursday, February 28, 2008

A declining demand for equality?

Can we just assume that people desire a more equal world? Contrary to expectations former socialist countries do not express a great desire towards equality. A recently released working paper by the World Bank entitled Attitudes to Equality. The Social Legacy Revisited concluded that in countries of the former Soviet Union there may be little political or social consensus for moving towards greater income equality.   Thus, the unequal outcomes observed may not be 

the consequence of limited administrative capacity of the state to redistribute incomes, or different levels of confidence in ability of the state, but the lack of a political consensus that it should do so.  

Do we see signs of a trend? Not only in capitalist countries such as the UK (see earlier post Does rising inequality lead to a higher demand for redistribution.), but now also in former socialist countries equality does not seem to be that much on peoples' minds.  

Any studies on the attitudes of Africans to equality?

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