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Richard Wilkinson

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Richard has played a formative role in international research on the social determinants of health and on the societal effects of income inequality. He studied economic history at LSE before training …

Richard has played a formative role in international research on the social determinants of health and on the societal effects of income inequality. He studied economic history at LSE before training in epidemiology. He is Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham Medical School, Honorary Professor at UCL and a Visiting Professor at the University of York. Richard co-wrote The Spirit Level with Kate Pickett and is a co-founder of The Equality Trust


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  • The public and policy response? more:- Police Doctors Social Workers Drug rehabilitation units Educational Psychologists But…services are expensive and only partially effective.
  • Transcript

    • 1.  
    • 2. Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level People in more unequal countries trust each other less www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 3. Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level People in more unequal states of the USA trust each other less www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 4. Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level Mental illness is more common in more unequal societies www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 5. Infant Mortality Rates are Higher in More Unequal Countries Source: Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level (2009) www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 6. Daly M, Wilson M, Vasdev S. Income inequality and homicide rates in Canada and the United States. Can J Crim 2001; 43: 219-36. Homicide rates are higher in more unequal US states and Canadian provinces USA states Canadian provinces
    • 7. Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level Imprisonment rates are higher in more unequal countries www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 8. Teenage Birth Rates are Higher in More Unequal Rich Countries Source: Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level (2009) www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 9. Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level Social mobility is lower in more unequal countries www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 10.
    • 11. Health and social problems are worse in more unequal countries Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level
      • Index of:
      • Life expectancy
      • Math & Literacy
      • Infant mortality
      • Homicides
      • Imprisonment
      • Teenage births
      • Trust
      • Obesity
      • Mental illness – incl. drug & alcohol addiction
      • Social mobility
      Index of health and social problems www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 12. www.equalitytrust.org.uk Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level Neither health nor social problems are related to national income per head
      • Index of:
      • Life expectancy
      • Math & Literacy
      • Infant mortality
      • Homicides
      • Imprisonment
      • Teenage births
      • Trust
      • Obesity
      • Mental illness – incl. drug & alcohol addiction
      • Social mobility
      Index of health and social problems
    • 13. Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level Child well-being is better in more equal countries www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 14.  
    • 15. Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level The UNICEF Index of Child Wellbeing is not related to National Income per head www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 16. Educational Scores are Higher in More Equal Rich Countries Source: Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level (2009) www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 17. Children Experience More Conflict in More Unequal Societies Source: Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level (2009) 11, 13 & 15 yr olds fighting, bullying, and finding peers not kind & helpful www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 18. More Children Drop Out of High School in More Unequal US States Source: Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level (2009) www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 19. Single parents and child wellbeing
    • 20. Source: Willms JD. 1997. Data from OECD Programme for International Student Assessment. Literacy Scores of 16-25 year olds by Parents' Education -1.5 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Parents' Education (years) Literacy score Sweden Canada United States
    • 21. More inequality
      • More superiority and inferiority
      • More status competition and consumerism
      • More status insecurity
      • More worry about how we are seen and judged
      • More “social evaluation anxiety” (threats to self-esteem & social status, fear of negative judgements
      Valued or Devalued?
    • 22. Stereotype Threat The effect of caste identity on children's performance Number of mazes solved Source: Hoff K, Pandey P, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3351, June 2004 Caste Unannounced Caste Announced
    • 23. Loughnan S, et al. Economic Inequality is linked to biased self-perception. Psychological Science , 2011; 22: 1254 In more unequal countries people abandon modesty and emphasise their achievments
    • 24. Other tasks Tasks with ‘social evaluative threat’ (uncontrollable) Cortisol response (effect size) Dickerson SS, Kemeny ME. Acute stressors and cortisol responses. Psychological Bulletin 2004; 130(3): 355-91. What kind of stressful tasks raise stress hormones most?
    • 25. Well-being and long-term illness related to feeling shamed Data from Swedish Liv & Halsa survey 2004. Starrin B, Wettergren A. Shame and humiliation in narrative social life. (forthcoming). Number of ways people felt shamed in last 3 months
    • 26.
      • The effects of inequality - a two stage process
          • adult experience of inequality
          • passed on to children – epigenetics?
    • 27. Trends in income inequality 1979-2005/6 (Gini coefficient, Great Britain.) Brewer M, Goodman A, Muriel A, Sibieta L. Poverty and Inequality in the UK: 2007. Institute of Fiscal Studies, London.
    • 28. Income gaps How many times richer are the richest fifth than the poorest fifth? Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level
      • Inequality...
        • How much richer are the richest 20% in each country than the poorest 20%?
      www.equalitytrust.org.uk
    • 29. http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk
      • For more information:
      • … a book
          • and a website…
    • 30. What can be done?
      • Taxes & benefits
      • Stop tax avoidance
      • End tax havens
      • Make taxation progressive again
      • Income differences before tax
      • Increase company democracy - employee ownership etc
      • Promote more directors from within companies
      Sustainability needs greater equality