This essay is a response to Thorbecke and Charumilind (2002) article “Economic Inequality and Its Socioeconomic Impact”. Firstly, the main aim of the article is given. Secondly, sections of economic growth, political instability and health will be examined more in depth. Thirdly, the structure and readability is discussed, followed by a short conclusion.
Thorbecke and Charumilind (2002) set two aims for the paper. Beforehand they gathered all the existing research that would associate inequality to economic growth, political conflict, education, health and crime. Subsequently, they formed syntheses of “various causal hypo-theses and mechanisms that explain the observed relationships between inequality and those socioeconomic variables.”
As authors’ intention is to integrate existing material, rather than conduct new calculations and experiments, their work relies on a considerable amount of references. It is noteworthy that they explain the meaning of traditional economic variables through wider socioeconomic elements.
Authors do not conclude that economic inequality is either good or bad for our societal well-being, but rather give arguments on both sides. They imply that equality of incomes has a positive correlation to lack political conflict, access to education, decline of crime and health.
The impact of income disparity to economic growth is argued as the biggest section of the paper. The tacit conclusion is that it has a negative correlation to the latter variable, although the arguments against are pretty sound, such as the study by Barro (as cited in Thorbecke & Charumilind, 2002) which claims that inequality has positive correlation to growth in rich countries and negative correlation in poor countries. The idea is also argued in a more recent paper published by Inyong Shin (2012) who states that “despite the extensive existing litera-ture on income inequality and economic growth, there remains considerable disagreement on the effect of inequality on economic growth.” (p. 2049)
The section analyzing changes in political instability and social conflict is generally well-argumented with studies covering broad sample sets. The political behavior might be thought of as a consequence of values and attitudes citizens have (Pryor, 2012). Integrating the chan-ges in people’s values regarding to income disparity may give more insight about the topic.
In regarding with the sixth section about the relationship of health an economic income, all studies referred measure the health of society...