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Devolution and inequality: a failure to create a community of equals?

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This paper assesses the impact of devolution within the United Kingdom on household equality in terms of both income and social inclusion, with particular focus on the two most established examples of devolution – Scotland and Wales. Uniquely this paper provides the first quantitative assessment of devolution in the UK. Using British Household Panel Study data it suggests that devolution appears to have had no discernable impact on income inequality. An influence on social inclusion can be detected but is suggested to have been both weak and temporary in relation to other regions within the UK. The paper concludes with explanations for the paucity of devolution's impact on equality.
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Keywords: BHPS; Gini coefficient; UK; devolution; equality; social inclusion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Economic Studies, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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