- Remapping Inequality in Europe: The Net Effect of Regional Integration on Total Income Inequality in the European Union
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- by Beckfield, Jason
- Research on the determinants of inequality has implicated globalization in the increased income inequality observed in many advanced capitalist countries since the 1970s. Meanwhile, a different form of international embeddedness—regional integration—has largely escaped attention. Regional integration, conceptualized as the construction of international economy and polity within negotiated regions, should matter for inequality. This paper offers theoretical arguments that distinguish globalization from regional integration, connects regional integration to inequality through multiple theoretical mechanisms, develops hypotheses on the relationship between regional integration and inequality, and reports fresh empirical evidence on the net effect of regional integration on inequality in Western Europe. Three classes of models are used in the analysis: (1) time-series models where region-year is the unit of analysis, (2) panel models where country-year is the unit of analysis, and (3) analysis of variance to identify how the between- and within-country components of income inequality have changed over time. The evidence suggests that regional integration remaps inequality in Europe. Regionalization is associated with both a decrease in between-country inequality, and an increase in within-country inequality. The analysis of variance shows that the net effect is negative, and that within-country inequality now comprises a larger proportion of total income inequality.
- Publication Type: WCFIA Working Paper
- Published Date: June 2008
- Field of Interest: International Economics
- Beckfield, Jason. "Remapping Inequality in Europe: The Net Effect of Regional Integration on Total Income Inequality in the European Union." Working Paper 2008-0134, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, June 2008.
- This paper is prepared for the conference on "Inequality Beyond Globalization: Economic Changes and the Dynamics of Inequality," sponsored by the World Society Foundation and the Research Committee on Economy and Society of the International Sociological Association (RC-02), and convened in Neuchatel, Switzerland, June 2008. Please direct comments to Jason Beckfield.