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Inequality as entitlements over labour

Segal, Paul (2020) Inequality as entitlements over labour. Working Paper (43). International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

The modern study of economic inequality is based on the distribution of entitlements over goods and services. But social commentators at least since Rousseau have been concerned with a different aspect of economic inequality: that it implies that one person is entitled to command another person for their own personal ends. I call this inequality as entitlements over labour. I propose to measure entitlements over labour by calculating the extent to which top income groups can afford to buy the labour of others for the purpose of their personal consumption. Unlike standard inequality measures, this measure is not welfarist, but instead has its normative basis in relations of domination, hierarchy and social status between people. I estimate entitlements over labour in three high-inequality and two low-inequality countries and argue that inequality as entitlements over labour is socially and politically salient, capturing a side of inequality neglected by standard measures.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/International-Inequalities
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: International Inequalities Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution > D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2020 13:18
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2020 23:20
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/104083

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