July 3, 2015

There Are Too Many Misperceptions About Inequality in Canada

Income Inequality Getty

There are many things to say about the varied causes and potential effects of inequality. But one oft-neglected question that's worth asking is: Do people generally have an accurate picture of the level of inequality that exists in their countries? The short answer, according to a recent paper from the Institute for the Study of Labor, is that they do not. In Misperceiving Inequality, researchers Vladimir Gimpelson and Daniel Treisman note, first of all, that only 29 per cent of respondents across 40 countries were able to identify which of five diagrams best characterized income distribution in their societies--which is not much more accurate than random chance.

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