Open Access Book

Transitioning to Reduced Inequalities

Edited by
February 2023
246 pages
  • ISBN978-3-03921-160-9 (Hardback)
  • ISBN978-3-03921-161-6 (PDF)

This book is part of the book series Transitioning to Sustainability

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Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities

The world has never been richer than today. The distribution of our global wealth, however, is hugely biased. Since 1980, the gains were mainly captured by the rich: the top 1% obtained twice as much of the income growth as compared to the bottom 50%. Nevertheless, within economics, debates about inequality have remained rather marginal, despite long-term research by renowned scholars such as Tony Atkinson. Within the public arena, concerns about inequality emerged as a result of a number of developments: First, the global financial crisis in 2008 exposed the risks of the financing of the economy; secondly, in 2013, Thomas Picketty’s book, “Capital in the 21st century”, demonstrated that, against the trend of the overall 20th century, capital returns have outstripped the gains through economic growth in recent decades, thus threatening social coherence and democratic institutions, and thirdly, the Millennium Campaign presented impressive achievements regarding poverty but stirred doubts as to whether the most deprived were left even further behind.


Since 2015, then, the stated aim of SDG 10 has been to “reduce inequality within and among countries”. There is growing consensus that economic growth is not sufficient to reduce poverty and that our efforts to make it more inclusive have thus far been insufficient. The very first step reduce inequality is to adopt a systemic perspective, allowing an integrative analysis covering both ends of the ladder. Policies should be universal in principle and pay attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalised populations. Predicated on comparison, inequality reminds us that it is not enough to study lower earners and the poor. Instead, the term demands that we expand our perspective, scrutinising how economic value is generated and accumulated and at whose cost, and—not least—how the overall system could be made fairer. “Transitioning to Reduced Inequalities” therefore explores inequality trends worldwide, offers a debate on different measures and comparative perspectives, highlights key actors who either benefited or suffered from recent economic trends, and explores policy options to reduce inequality and thus contribute to SDG 10. The volume particularly considers the following:


  • Conceptual frameworks with regard to the inequality debate;
  • The relationship between poverty reduction, economic growth, and inequality;
  • Measures of inequality;
  • Overlooked/bypassed groups in developing countries;
  • Analysis on income/wealth growth for different groups in the global north;
  • Discussion about policies to reduce inequality;
  • Further research in the realm of inequality.


Transitioning to Reduced Inequalities is part of MDPI’s Open Access book series, Transitioning to Sustainability, which aims to add to the conversation about regional and global sustainable development according to the 17 SDGs.

  • Hardback
© 2023 by the authors; CC BY-NC-ND license
poverty; inequality reduction; equality; economic development
Published with the generous support of the Swiss National Science Foundation.
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Each chapter in this edited book has been reviewed by the editor/s as well as an external expert who reviewed each chapter of the book and provided an overall review. The opinions expressed in the chapters do not reflect the view of the publisher.

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