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Development Economics Paper
Inequality, Unemployment and Contemporary Europe
Amartya Sen
November 1997
Paper No' DEDPS 07:

Tags: unemployment; individuality; social exclusion; ageging population; self-help; social responsibility.

Inequality of incomes can differ substantially from inequality in other 'spaces' such as well-being, freedom, health, longevity, and quality of life. Given the massive sclae of unemployment in contemporary European economies, concentrating only on income inequality can be particularly deceptive for studying economic inequality, since unemployment causes deprivation in many other ways as well. This paper examines the different ways in which unemployment creates deprivation (other than through low income), and what implications these issues have on the relative merits of American and European attitudes respectively to individual responsibility and social commitment.