Income Distribution Today

Anthony B. Atkinson*; François Bourguignon, * Nuffield College, Oxford, UK, Paris School of Economics, Paris, France

1 Setting the Scene

When the first volume of the Handbook of Income Distribution was published in 2000, the subject of income inequality was not in the mainstream of economic debate—despite the long history of engagement with this issue by earlier leading economists—see Chapter 1 by Agnar Sandmo. Fifteen years later, inequality has become very much centre stage. Rising income inequality has attracted the attention of the U.S. President, of international bodies such as the IMF and the OECD, and of participants in the Davos meeting.

This volume of the Handbook aims to cover the advances ...

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