CHAPTER 4 Why Everyone Is Happier in More Equitable Societies

Brooke Jarvis with Richard Wilkinson

For decades, British epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson has studied why some societies are healthier than others. In The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger he and co-author Kate Pickett found that what the healthiest societies have in common is not that they have more—more income, more education, or more wealth—but that what they have is more equitably shared.20

Economic inequality has a host of corrosive impacts on whole societies, harming even those at the top of the pile. I sat down with Wilkinson to discuss the surprising importance of equality—and the best ways to build it.

Jarvis: You’ve studied the impact of inequality ...

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