Economic Inequality and Social Capital

Economic Inequality and Social Capital

Kate Pickett

In this video, Kate explores the significant impact of income inequality on societal health and sustainability. She also discovers how inequality weakens community bonds, increases violence, and incurs economic costs.

In this video, Kate explores the significant impact of income inequality on societal health and sustainability. She also discovers how inequality weakens community bonds, increases violence, and incurs economic costs.

Speak to an expert

Speak to an expert today to access this and all of the content on our platform.

Economic Inequality and Social Capital

8 mins 44 secs

Overview

Income inequality significantly impacts societal health and sustainability. In unequal societies, lower levels of trust and social capital lead to weaker community bonds and higher instances of violence and mental health issues, with substantial economic costs like lost productivity due to workplace bullying. Conversely, greater equality enhances cooperation and mutual support, key for sustainable development. Reducing income inequality could save billions in health costs and other societal damages, emphasising the need for collective efforts towards equality for improved societal well-being and environmental sustainability.

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the societal costs of inequality

  • Understand how greater equality can improve quality of life and sustainability

Speak to an expert

Speak to an expert today to access this and all of the content on our platform.

Summary
What are the societal costs of inequality?
Inequality leads to significant societal costs, including weakened community bonds and decreased social capital. In societies with higher inequality, there is less trust among individuals, and increased rates of violence, mental health issues, and stigmatisation of marginalised groups. 

Economically, inequality incurs high costs due to factors like lost productivity from workplace bullying, absenteeism, and turnover. It also hampers cooperative behaviours, essential for effective societal functioning and overall well-being.

How does greater equality improve quality of life and sustainability?
Greater equality enhances quality of life and sustainability by fostering social cohesion and trust. It leads to more cooperative and mutually supportive communities, crucial for addressing global challenges like environmental sustainability. 

In more equal societies, people are more likely to engage in sustainable behaviours, such as recycling and reduced consumption. Equality also reduces status anxiety and impulsive consumption, promoting healthier lifestyles and societal harmony. Additionally, equal societies experience lower rates of violence and better mental health, contributing to overall societal well-being.

Speak to an expert

Speak to an expert today to access this and all of the content on our platform.

Kate Pickett

Kate Pickett

Kate Pickett, a Professor of Epidemiology at the University of York, is also the director of Health Equity North and associate director of the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity.

There are no available videos from "Kate Pickett"