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October 26, 2011


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This is a very interesting post, Jonathan. I'm going to have look at Wilkinson's TEDTalk. How do you think this squares with some of the data Hans Rosling has put together on Gapminder? Looking at his data (sliced and diced a number of ways), there seems to be a positive correlation between wealth and health. Rosling even has ways to break down the national data and the relationship still seems to hold.

I'm the first to admit that coincidence, correlation and causation are not the same. I would like to know the differences in the data sets. I see lots of wiggle room for both to be correct.


Hi Tim,

Wilkinson addresses this issue. Having a high average per capita income is not the same thing as having an equal distribution of income. Many high income countries (Norway, Sweden, etc.) have very equal distributions and also high social indicators; the U.S. is an outlier on many substantive measures of welfare (given our high income level we would expect much higher life expectancy, etc.) and we find poorer outcomes.


I loved this book! It's a great contribution to evidence based politics, something we could really use more of (even political philosophers).

(I even wrote a review, It's the Equality, Stupid over on my blog: http://www.philosophersbeard.org/2009/11/its-equality-stupid.html.)

Thanks, Phil, for the link to your interesting blog. For readers: the last parenthesis in Phil's link is not part of the link.

Link fixed, guys.

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