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Social inequality, technology and economic growth

Chris Freeman

No 2007-05, Globelics Working Paper Series from Globelics - Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems, Aalborg University, Department of Business and Management

Abstract: It is a matter of common observation that inequalities have been increasing in almost every part of the world in the 1980s and 1990s, reversing the more egalitarian trends which prevailed in the early post-war period. This chapter seeks to show: 1) that some alternating phases of retrenchment and egalitarian trends have been characteristic of industrial capitalist societies throughout the 19th and 20th centuries and 2) that these long swings of social policy are related to the diffusion of major new technologies in the economic system. Finally, the chapter discusses very briefly a few of the main directions in which social policy should move if the present inegalitarian trends are to be reversed.

Keywords: Technology; economic development; social inequality; social policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
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