that is, in the past, the income of the richest came mainly from the return on annuities

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In this work I tried to show the current state of our historical knowledge concerning the dynamics of the distribution of wealth and income since the eighteenth century, and I have attempted to draw from this knowledge some lessons for the century ahead.

The income inequality raises several problems, both because of its thickness and of its characteristics which often make it inequality unacceptable according to the consolidated criteria of social justice; social inequalities, in fact, result from complex processes that can be viewed from different perspectives and in which operate in different, often interacting with each other, multiple factors. The economic literature suggests that to assess the economic well-being we need to look at individual equivalent disposable income, or the sum of all market income, whatever the source perceived by the members of a family, after tax and before transfers.

To frame the question in its most appropriate context, I showed some empirical evidence on the performance of inequalities from the market in major countries OECD, assessing the role of the type of work and human capital. As mentioned before, the equivalent income is considered the best available indicator of economic individual well-being. The observation of the Gini index in some OECD countries confirms a general increase in inequality in the last quarter century. As we seen, the Nordic countries are confirmed as the most egalitarian, while the United States were the most unequal.

In the work I mentioned one aspect, about the nature of income included in the top income shares; that is, in the past, the income of the richest came mainly from the return on annuities.

Over the past three decades, instead, the share of market has greatly increased the share of workers, i.e. working super rich workers , professionals and managers of big business and finance. So, looking at the data of the contemporary economies, the labor market tends to be more and more the place where there is more creating huge inequalities. Inequality in incomes is



therefore the outcome of a complex process in which a number of factors operate. The analysis in this work has tried to show how important they are for its trends and its characteristics, the processes taking place in the markets, especially in the labor market. These processes are largely responsible of worsening inequalities and especially the increasing share of income that is siphoning off a few people, that is, those that are located in the highest part of the income distribution. So in order to influence and correct inequality, future instruments will depend on the effects that they will have on the rules governing the functioning of markets, and on their effectiveness in affecting forces that produce high and unacceptable inequalities, making the market more consistent with the role historically assigned to it.





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