Income inequality and social well-being

Produced by: 
Society for the Study of Economic Inequality (ECINEQ)
Available from: 
October 2015
Paper author(s): 
Nanak Kakwani
Hyun H. Son
Poverty - Inequality - Aid Effectiveness
Fiscal Policy - Public and Welfare Economics

Deepening inequality has become the subject of intense debates, particularly on growth, poverty, and development. This paper shows that inequality has a bearing on well-being, which comprises a set of capabilities indicating the extent of freedom individuals have in leading  their lives. It examines inequality in different dimensions of well-being across Brazilian municipalities and measures the impact of income inequality on well-being. Findings reveal that Brazil has improved outcomes related to material well-being, health, education, living conditions, and labor market activities, and has reduced disparities in these areas. The study finds that income inequality hampers growth in well-being, except for indicators closely associated with education and human capital development. Findings suggest that while the impacts of income inequality diff er across various dimensions of well-being, reducing inequality will generally help improve the well-being of a society. 


Research section: 
Latest Research
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