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Economic Inequality
Economic inequality

Over the last several decades, markets have become more important all around the world. The collapse of the Soviet bloc pushed Eastern and Central Europe from command to market economies. China developed its own “socialist market economy,” with considerable success. Even countries that were already capitalist democracies spent much of the 1980s and 1990s expanding the reach of their own markets and shrinking the public sector. It seems as if more and more economic decision making about the production and allocation of goods is governed by markets.

If markets have become more consequential, it is important to understand their consequences. In this chapter, we consider the effects of markets on economic inequality. Even the most vocal advocates of free markets admit that they ...

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