Rich people in the Hamptons Spencer Platt/Getty Images

不平等性的复杂性

慕尼黑—2013年,托马斯·皮凯蒂(Thomas Piketty)出版了他广受热议的关于收入和财富分配的研究,此后,不平等性成为大部分发达经济体公共争论的前沿话题,从增长缓慢和生产率停滞到民粹主义崛起和英国退欧投票,一切问题都被归咎于此。但不平等性的定义仍然不明确,其效果也大相径庭,其根源更是众说纷纭。

即便是最基本的问题——多大的不平等性算是过度——也几乎不可能得到回答。不存在一个经济体处于均衡状态时的“自然不平等率”可供决策者努力实现。相反,各国的不平等率是相对的——这是一个狭隘的方法,忽略了从总体经济趋势到不同社会环境中财富不平等性对人口的影响的不同的各种因素。

当所有人都在抱怨不平等性时,从全球水平看,财富的分配要比以往更加广泛。光是过去16年,跻身全球中产阶级——今天的标准是拥有7,000—42,000欧元金融资产——的人数就增长了一倍多,达到了十亿以上或世界人口的20%。

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