Inequality and Health
Lower inequality can improve population health and well-being.
How much inequality is too much? A philosophical answer is provided in Rawls’ dictum that only as much inequality can be tolerated as improves the lot of the least well-off. Using health and well-being to concretise Rawls’ criterion, Frederick Zimmerman from University of California offers evidences suggesting that reducing inequality would result in meaningful improvements to population health and well-being. Data are presented on the relationships between inequality and health in several domains, and causal mechanisms operating at various levels are discussed. This evidence collectively suggests that levels of economic inequality have reached levels that are ethically indefensible in many countries.