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The belief that inequality hurts economic growth is gaining currency among policymakers. Some argue forcefully that high levels of inequality can make (1) growth impossible, and may even contribute to recessions. This view stands in stark contrast to the traditional view that there is a tradeoff between equality and growth, and that greater inequality is a price that must be paid for higher output. Lost in the discussion, however, is whether any of this is actually (2) to economic policymaking. I don’t believe it is. Whether inequality is good or bad for growth should and will continue to concern social scientists. But those guiding an economy should focus on (3) outcomes and modes of distribution rather than on a puzzle that will never fully be solved.
Three developments make this (4) necessary. For starters, while recent studies have concluded that higher levels of inequality produce lower long-term growth, other data have challenged this assumption, making (5) claims that are impossible to support, partly because different sources and types of inequality likely have different impacts on growth.Second, most research focuses on the impact of inequality on growth, rather than on how specific policies affect growth. The former is of interest to social scientists and historians, but it is the latter that is (6) for policymakers.
And, finally, politicians generally (7) their policies in terms of how they affect the middle class or the poor, not the arithmetic average of incomes across an economy – which gives equal weight to a $1 increase in the income of a poor person and that of a billionaire. So, even if reducing inequality was bad for overall growth, it might still be good for social welfare in the relevant sense, if it made many households in the middle better off.
The fact is, economic policies in the real world are (8) and site-specific, making the search for a single answer to the question of how – and how much – inequality affects growth a (9) task. Rather than (10) themselves with how to balance growth and inequality, policymakers would do better to focus on how policies impact average incomes and other welfare indicators.
- 1) stringent
5) interruptionAnswer : 2)
sustained – continuing for an extended period or without interruption.
- 1) intransigent
5) germaneAnswer : 5)
germane – relevant to a subject under consideration.
- 1) adamantine
5) freezeAnswer : 4)
assessing – evaluate or estimate the nature, ability, or quality of.
- 1) offhand
5) flauntingAnswer : 4)
refocusing – adjust the focus of (a lens or one’s eyes).
- 1) intervening
5) disdainAnswer : 3)
definitive – (of a conclusion or agreement) done or reached decisively and with authority.
- 1) oblivious
5) relevantAnswer : 5)
relevant – closely connected or appropriate to what is being done or considered.
- 1) defend
5) impertinentAnswer : 1)
defend – resist an attack made on (someone or something); protect from harm or danger.
- 1) inconclusive
5) immaterialAnswer : 4)
nuanced – characterized by subtle shades of meaning or expression.
- 1) interim
5) SisypheanAnswer : 5)
Sisyphean – denoting a task that can never be completed.
- 1) cursive
5) concerningAnswer : 5)
concerning – on the subject of or in connection with; about.