Cities, Economic Inequality and Justice: Reflections and Alternative Perspectives, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Cities, Economic Inequality and Justice

Reflections and Alternative Perspectives, 1st Edition

By Edwin Buitelaar, Anet Weterings, Roderik Ponds

Routledge

116 pages | 14 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-07-27
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Description

Increasing economic inequality in cities, and the spatial translation of that into more segregated neighbourhoods, is top of the political agenda in developed countries. While the overall living standards have increased in the last century, the focus has now shifted from poverty to economic differences, with a particular focus on the gap between the very poor and the (ultra-)rich.

The authors observe a common view among policy-makers and researchers alike: that urban-economic inequality and segregation are increasing; that this increase is bad; and that money and people (in the case of segregation) need to be redistributed in response. In six compact chapters, this book enriches and broadens the debate. Chapters bring together the literature on the social effects of economic inequality and segregation and question whether there are sizable effects and what their direction (positive or negative) is. The often conflated concepts of economic inequality (and segregation) and social injustice is disentangled and the moral implications are reflected on.

The book is essential reading for students and academics of Planning Theory, Planning Ethics, Urban Geography, Urban Economics, Economic Geography and Urban Sociology.

Reviews

'I love the scope and ambition of this brave, well written and thoughtful book… Truly useful scholarship on the subject will find rich supporting ideas in this book, which offer intellectual scaffolding to help design specific institutions. The book gives direction for addressing those spatial inequalities that, for evidence-based reasons, need to be addressed, while leaving others to take their natural course. It is essential reading for policy-makers and urban professionals and for students studying cities from disciplinary perspectives of geography, economics, sociology, political science, planning and architecture and other fields.' —Professor Chris Webster, The University of Hong Kong.

‘This book by three experts gives a much-needed boost to the research on the increasing inequality and segregation in cities. A topic that is not only of great academic relevance but also crucial for the future of cities. Highly recommended reading for researchers and policymakers alike.’ — Harry Garretsen, Professor of International Economics & Business, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1: Introducing the book

1.1 Reflecting on the current debate

1.2 The contribution and the limitations of this book

1.3 Outline

Chapter 2: Causes of urban-economic inequality and segregation

2.1 Macro processes and inequality

2.2 Inequality between cities

2.3 Growing inequalities in cities

2.4 Economic segregation in cities

Chapter 3: Reflecting on the measurement

3.1 How to measure inequality?

3.1.1 The Gini coefficient

3.1.2 Limits to the scope

3.2 How to measure segregation?

3.2.1 The dissimilarity index

3.2.2 Sensitivity to measurement choices

3.2.3 Limits to the scope

3.3 Inequality and segregation of what?

3.3.1 Wage, income or capital

3.3.2 From gross incomes to standard of living

3.4 A dynamic perspective on inequality and segregation

Chapter 4: Reflecting on the (negative) societal impact

4.1 The negative impact of economic inequality

4.1.1 Effects on economic growth

4.1.2 Health and social effects

4.2 The negative impact of economic segregation

4.2.1 Mechanisms underlying neighbourhood effects

4.2.2 Identification of neighbourhood effects

4.2.3 From individual effects to city level effects

Chapter 5: Reflecting on the moral implications

5.1 Equality and distributional justice

5.2 The pie metaphor

5.3 Good and bad economic inequality

5.4 The impracticability of aiming for economic equality

5.5 The same or enough? About the moral relevance of economic inequality

5.6 The moral relevance of (economic) segregation

5.7 Reflecting on the material dimension of economic inequality and segregation

Chapter 6: Reflecting on urban policy

6.1 Summary of the book

6.2 Redistribution of money

6.3 Redistribution of people

Glossary

Index

About the Authors

Edwin Buitelaar,PhD, is a professor of land and real estate development at Utrecht University and a senior researcher of urban development at the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

Anet Weterings, PhD, is a senior researcher of regional economic development at the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

Roderik Ponds,PhD, is a senior researcher at Atlas voor Gemeenten, and a lecturer on Urban Economics at TIAS Business School.

About the Series

Routledge Focus on Economics and Finance

The fields of economics and finance are constantly expanding and evolving. This growth presents a significant challenge to readers trying to keep up with the latest important insights. Routledge Focus on Economics and Finance presents short books on the latest big topics, leveraging cutting edge research from scholars globally. 

Individually, each title in the series provides coverage of a key topic, whilst collectively, the series forms a comprehensive collection across the whole spectrum of economics and finance.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS000000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / General
BUS068000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development