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Group inequality in democracies: lessons from cross-national experiences

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Group inequality is a prominent feature of many modern democracies. The purpose of this paper is to take stock of what we know about the ways in which major democracies have viewed social groups and addressed inequalities between them. Countries classify individuals into groups based on race, color, birthplace, language and occupation. These markers have been used in di erent combinations across space and time. The rst part of this survey summarizes these di erences and examines their implications. I then discuss signi cant contributions to the theoretical and empirical literature on the persistence of group inequality. I end with policy implications and important gaps in research that can form the basis for future enquiry.

Author(s): Rohini Somanathan

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