Researcher finds wealth distribution linked to health of societies

November 8, 2011

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(AP/Elaine Thompson)
An Occupy protester demonstrates in Seattle.

Americans are taught early on that “all men are created equal.” But people taking part in Occupy Wall Street would argue that’s no longer the case.

The protesters are angry about the enormous gap between the rich and poor and frustrated by rising unemployment, foreclosures and corporate bonuses.

British epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson studies income inequality in developed countries. He’s found that people who live in more equal societies tend to fare better on a whole range of social indicators, from education to health to violence.

Richard, who also co-authored the book The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, spoke with Worldview's Jerome McDonnell about his findings - including why country like Denmark has far more upward mobility than the United States. 

Click on the audio link atop the page to hear their conversation in its entirety.

Watch Richard's TED Talk, "How economic inequality harms societies":