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April 13, 2022


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This course, Understanding economic inequality, explores the causes of economic inequality in modern times and its consequences for success for the economy.

The course will encourage you to reflect on your personal experiences of inequality before looking at how the issue is approached in economics. You will study some of the different dimensions of economic inequality, and learn about the main debates on its role in achieving economic success. You will also have the opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of a prime minister and explore what can be done to make economies less unequal.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction 00:10:00
  • Learning outcomes 00:10:00
  • Introducing inequality 00:10:00
  • Everyday inequality 00:15:00
    • Inequality in economics 00:10:00
    • Income for whom? 00:10:00
    • Sources of income 00:20:00
    • Measuring income inequality 00:20:00
    • What would an equal distribution of income look like? 00:20:00
    • Inequality between countries 00:20:00
    • What makes us unequal? 00:10:00
    • Differences between individuals or households 00:10:00
    • Factors affecting the level and distribution of wages 00:10:00
    • How income is shared between labour and capital 00:10:00
    • Why inequality matters 00:10:00
    • Economic growth and inequality 00:10:00
    • Inequality and economic success 00:10:00
    • What can be done about income inequality? 00:10:00
    • Redistribution of incomes through the taxation and benefit system 00:10:00
    • Provision of goods such as education and healthcare 00:15:00
    • The structure of original incomes 00:10:00
    • Conclusion 00:10:00

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Open University UK