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Income Inequality 

Income Inequality
Income Inequality

Ichiro Kawachi

and S. V. Subramanian

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date: 27 February 2021

Does income inequality pose a threat to population health? The chapter presents three distinct accounts of why and how income inequality could be linked to population health outcomes, namely, (1) the absolute income effect (the concavity hypothesis), (2) the relative income hypothesis (and the related theories of relative deprivation induced by social comparisons), and (3) the contextual effect hypothesis (also referred to as the “pollution effect” of income inequality). The three stories are not mutually exclusive; they may all, some, or none of them be correct. The chapter summarizes the state of knowledge and empirical evidence supporting each of these accounts.

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