How unequal? Insights on inequality


CEDA released a report in April 2018 which examines key ideas and concepts of inequality, including inequality of opportunity and the future of inequality. 

Download report: How unequal? Insights into inequality 
Quick read: chapter overview and recommendations
Read media release: Inequality levels largely unchanged since 2007 but new risks emerging  

Australia has experienced its longest period of economic growth in history during the last quarter century. Yet, there is growing debate about the benefits of this economic growth and their distribution, and the extent to which inequality is increasing in Australia.

These are important issues because significant inequality can weigh on future economic performance and undermine social cohesion.

CEDA’s report How unequal? Insights on inequality aims to examine:
  • the distribution of benefits from Australia’s prolonged period of economic growth;
  • whether inequality has increased in Australia during this period; and
  • where policy interventions could assist.
In particular, the report looks at the impact of key factors such as education, employment and location on inequality.

It also examines intergenerational inequality and potential drivers of increased inequality in the future, from technology advances to changes to traditional employment through the emergence of, for example, the gig economy.

CEDA's How unequal? Insights into inequality aims to better understand inequality as an economic concept, equality of opportunities and outcomes, and the potential inequality challenges Australia faces in the future.

Authors and chapters

Basic concepts

Inequality and fairness
Dr Simon Longstaff AO FCPA, Executive Director The Ethics Centre 
This chapter aims to explore and clarify ideas on inequality, and then explore their relationship to concepts of fairness.

Measuring inequality
Associate Professor Nicholas Rohde, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics Griffith University and Professor Lars Osberg, McCulloch Professor of Economics, Dalhousie University, Halifax 
This chapter aims to  provide some consensus as to what statistics and measures are best used to quantify inequality.

Inequality of opportunity

Educational inequality
Laura Perry, Associate Professor of Education policy and comparative education, Murdoch University 
Education is important in creating opportunity. This chapter explores the potential for individuals to be let down by providers if they are in certain sorts of schools or certain localities.

Employment inequality
Professor Alison Sheridan, Professor of Management, UNE Business School 
This chapter discusses important trends in the availability of employment opportunities, including inequality in the workplace and inequality of workforce opportunities. 

Geographical inequality
Patricia Faulkner AO, Chair Jesuit Social Services 
Post-code inequality may be a signal that our policies towards such regions are failing. Should more be done? What more can be done?

The future of inequality

Intergenerational inequality
Professor Peter Whiteford, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU 
Is the wealth of future generations likely to be more heavily influenced by the wealth of past generations? This chapter explores the inequality that has arisen between age demographics in Australia.

Distributional impacts of future opportunities
Nicholas Davis, Head of Society and Innovation, World Economic Forum 
Having access to the skills that complement new technologies has been an important driver of income, wealth and opportunity.  To what extent will this continue to be the case in the future and what are the implications for the distribution of the benefits of growth?  

Explore more inequality content

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Report overview: read chapter overviews and recommendations 
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Holistic approach needed to address inequality: Patricia Faulkner AO

Human dignity the starting point for discussions on inequality: Dr Simon Longstaff AO


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Blog: Education inequality is costing Australia billions   

Blog: Workplace inequality starts sonner than you think


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Blog: Australia must break the cycle of disadvantage-incarceration-disadvantage


Blog: New evidence to break the cycle of educational disadvantage 


  Video: Report overview with CEDA Chief Executive, Melinda Cilento and Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball



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