Social Inequality

The Essayist suggests a list of readings to gain a better understanding of inequality and its deep rooted effects on health and social problems across countries. The Essayist welcomes you to add to this list and make it more comprehensive. To add more readings, please submit at the bottom of this page or email to

Pickett, K. et al. (2014). “If you could do one thing…” Nine local actions to reduce health inequalities. British Academy.


Allen, K. (2014). British public wrongly believe rich pay most in tax, new research shows. The Guardian.
Elgar FJ, Pickett KE, Pickett W, Craig W, Molcho M, Hurrelmann K, et al. (2013). School bullying, homicide and income inequality: a cross-national pooled time series analysis. International journal of public health; 58(2):237-45.
Edward P, Sumner A. (2013). The Future of Global Poverty in a Multi-Speed World: Mimeo.
Berg A, Ostry JD. (2013). Inequality and Unsustainable Growth: Two Sides of the Same Coin?: International Monetary Fund.
Offer A, Pechey R, Ulijaszek S. (2012). Insecurity, inequality, and obesity in affluent societies: Oxford University Press.
Stiglitz JE. (2012). The price of inequality: How today’s divided society endangers our future: WW Norton & Company.
Elgar FJ, Aitken N. (2011). Income inequality, trust and homicide in 33 countries. Eur J Public Health ;21(2):241-6.
Pomerleau, McKee (2011). Ch 4: ‘Inequalities in health’, pp 78-106 in Sim F & McKee M (eds). Issues in Public Health (2nd ed). Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Marmot, M. and Bell, R. (2011). Improving health: social determinants and personal choice. Am J Prev Med; 40(1S1): S73–S77.
Shaxson N. (2011) Treasure islands: tax havens and the men who stole the world. London: Bodley Head.
Palma JG. (2011). Homogeneous Middles vs. Heterogeneous Tails, and the End of the ‘Inverted‐U’: It’s All About the Share of the Rich. Development and Change; 42(1):87-153.
Wilkinson, R., and Pickett, K. (2010). The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone. London: Penguin Books.
Wilkinson, R., and Pickett, K. (2010). Inequality: an underacknowledged source of mental illness and distress. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 197; pp. 426-428.
Pickett KE, Wilkinson RG. (2010). Inequality: an underacknowledged source of mental illness and distress. Br J Psychiatry; 197:426-8.
Wilkinson RG, Pickett KE, De Vogli R. (2010). Equality, sustainability, and quality of life. BMJ;341:c5816.
Kondo N, Sembajwe G, Kawachi I, van Dam RM, Subramanian SV, Yamagata Z. (2009). Income inequality, mortality, and self rated health: meta-analysis of multilevel studies. BMJ; 339:b4471.
Blanden J. (2009). How Much Can We Learn From International Comparisons of Intergenerational Mobility? London: Centre for the Economics of Education.
Wilkinson RG, Pickett KE. (2009).Income inequality and social dysfunction. Annu Rev Sociol;35:493-512.
Babones SJ.(2008). Income inequality and population health: Correlation and causality. Soc Sci Med ;66(7):1614-26.
Iacoviello M. (2008). Household Debt and Income Inequality, 1963–2003. Journal of Money, Credit and Banking; 40(5):929-65.
Wilkinson, R., and Pickett, K. (2008). Income Inequality and Socioeconomic Gradients in Mortality. Am J Public Health, 98(4); pp.699–704.
Davey Smith G, Krieger N (2008). Tackling health inequities. WHO calls for global action to ensure health equity within and between countries (editorial). BMJ; 337(7669): 529-30.
Graham H (2007). Ch 7: Social determinants of health and health inequalities, pp 99-113, in Unequal Lives: Health and socioeconomic inequalities.
Siddiqi A, Kawachi I, Berkman L, Subramanian SV, Hertzman C. (2007). Variation of socioeconomic gradients in children’s developmental health across advanced Capitalist societies: analysis of 22 OECD nations. Int J Health Serv;37(1):63-87.
Marmot, M. (2007). Achieving health equity: from root causes to fair outcomes. Lancet; 370(9593): 1153–63.
Frank RH. (2007).Falling behind: how rising inequality harms the middle class. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Wilkinson RG, Pickett KE. (2007).The problems of relative deprivation: Why some societies do better than others. Soc Sci Med; 65(9):1965-78.
Graham H (2007). Ch 1: Health inequalities and inequities, pp 3-18 in Unequal Lives: Health and socioeconomic inequalities.
Graham, H (2007). Ch 10. Health across unequal lives, pp 144-159 in: Graham H (2007). Unequal Lives. Health and Socioeconomic Inequalities. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Graham H, Inskip HM, Francis B, Harman J (2006). Pathways of disadvantage and smoking careers: evidence and policy implications. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 60(Supplement 2):S7-S12
Wilkinson RG, Pickett KE. (2006). Income inequality and population health: A review and explanation of the evidence. Soc Sci Med; 62(7):1768-84.
Ram R. (2006). Further examination of the cross-country association between income inequality and population health. Soc Sci Med; 62(3):779-91.
Frank RH, Levine AS. (2005). Expenditure cascades. Cornell University mimeograph. Ithaca: Cornall University.
Pickett KE, Kelly S, Brunner E, Lobstein T, Wilkinson RG. (2005).Wider income gaps, wider waistbands? An ecological study of obesity and income inequality. J Epidemiol Community Health; 59(8):670-4.
Lynch J, Davey Smith G (2005). A life course approach to chronic disease epidemiology. Annual Review of Public Health 26:1-35.
Wilkinson, R.G. (2005). The Impact of Inequality: How to Make Sick Societies Healthier. London: Routledge.
Marmot M and Wilkinson RG (eds) (2005). Social Determinants of Health (2nd ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Subramanian SV, Kawachi I. (2004). Income inequality and health: what have we learned so far? Epidemiol Rev; 26:78-91.
Wade RH. (2004). Is globalization reducing poverty and inequality? World Development; 32(4):567-89.
Braveman P. (2003). Measuring Health Inequalities: The politics of the World Health Report 2000. In R. Hofrichter (ed.) Health and Social Justice: Politics, Ideology, and Inequity in the Distribution of Disease. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Bartley M. (2003). Health inequality: An Introduction to Theory, Concepts, and Methods. London: Polity Press.
Davey Smith G (2003). Health Inequalities: Life Course Approaches. London: The Policy Press.
Berridge, V. (2003). The Origin of the Black Report: Conversation with Richard Wilkinson. Available at:
Fajnzylber P, Lederman D, Loayza N. (2002). Inequality and violent crime. Journal of Law and Economics; 45:1-40.
Sen A (2002). Why health equity? Health Econ 11(8): 659–666.
Uslaner E. (2002).The moral foundations of trust. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wilkinson, R.G. (2002). Unhealthy societies: the afflictions of inequality. London: Routledge.
Leon D and Walt G (eds) (2001). Poverty, Inequality and Health: An international perspective. New York: Oxford University Press.
Marmot, M, Wilkinson, RG. (2001). Psychosocial and material pathways in the relation between income  and health: a response to Lynch et al. BMJ 322(7296):1233-6.
Daly M, Wilson M, Vasdev S.(2001). Income inequality and homicide rates in Canada and the United States. Canadian Journal of Public Health-Revue canadienne de criminalogie;43(2):219-36.
Leon D, Walt G, Gilson L (2001). Recent advances: International perspectives on health inequalities and policy. British Medical Journal 322(7286): 591-594.
Braveman P, Starfield B, Geiger HJ. (2001). World Health Report 2000: how it removes equity from the agenda for public health monitoring and policy. British Medical Journal 323(7314): 678-681.
Braveman P, Krieger N, Lynch J (2000). Health inequalities and social group differences [response to Murray et al 1999]. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 78 (2): 232-233.
Murray CJL, Gakidou EE, Frenk J (2000). Response to P. Braveman et al. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 78 (2): 234-235.
Murray CJL, Gakidou EE, Frenk J (1999). Health inequalities and social group differences: what should we measure? Bulletin of the World Health Organization 77 (7): 537-543.
Lynch JW, Kaplan GA, Salonen JT (1997). Why do poor people behave poorly? Variation in adult health behaviours and psychosocial characteristics by stages of the socioeconomic lifecourse. Social Science & Medicine 44(6):809-819.
Wilkinson R. (1997). Income inequality summarises the health burden of individual relative deprivation. BMJ, 314; 1727.
Wilkinson R. (1997). Socioeconomic determinants of health. Health inequalities: relative or absolute material standards? BMJ, 314(7080); pp. 591–595.
Hsieh C-C, Pugh MD. (1993). Poverty, income inequality, and violent crime: A meta-analysis of recent aggregate data studies. Criminal Justice Review;18:182-202.
Kawachi I, Kennedy BP, Lochner K, Prothrow-Stith D. (1997). Social capital, income inequality, and mortality. Am J Public Health; 87(9):1491-8.
Macintyre S (1997). The Black Report and beyond – what are the issues? Social Science & Medicine 44(6):723-745.
McIntyre, S. (1997). The Black Report and beyond: what are the issues? Social Science & Medicine 44(6):723-45.
Link BG, Phelan J (1996). Understanding sociodemographic differences in health – the role of fundamental social causes. American Journal of Public Health 86(4):471–473.
Wilkinson, R. (1992). Income distribution and life expectancy. BMJ, 304(6820); pp.165–168.
Wilkinson, R. (1976). Dear David Ennals….New Society. Available at:


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