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Meritocracy and Economic Inequality Paperback – 4 Jan 2000


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"A distinguished group of editors has compiled this collection of 12 papers by some of the most notable scholars in the field. . . . This book raises important issues about economic inequality, returns to human capital investment, and the role of government."--Choice

"This is an enlightening and provocative book of essays that should be examined by anyone with an interest in current hypotheses and evidence on the determinants of inequality in America."--George Farkas, Contemporary Sociology

"A useful collection of empirical studies, models, and discussion that, taken together, make a case for a sharp change in American policy towards more aggressive efforts to reduce inequality. . . . The breadth and depth of these essays and the strong presentations of evidence and argument make them of interest even to those least supportive of the views advanced here."--John D. Owen, Economics of Education Review

"With technical papers from a range of disciplines, the volume makes fairly solid reading, but it presents some fascinating ideas and results which are broadly accessible."--Danny Yee, Danny Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Arrow, Bowles, and Durlauf have brought together a stellar collection of scholars of justice, inequality, and intelligence. These are the people the academic community wants to hear from on these issues. They do NOT disappoint. Each essay is thoughtful and engaging."--Michael Hout, University of California, Berkeley


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Amazon.com: 1 review
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A very technically demanding read. 2 May 2002
By Lemas Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's very interesting how the experts here tore apart The Bell Curve with minimal effort by taking a look at the data in a sensible/ rigorous way. One author assumed that all the data was correct as given and challenged its relevance.
Most importantly, one of the articles used the mathematics associated with these social experiments and asked "Do these numbers really show you what you think they do?" In all of my exhaustive reading about this subject, this book is the first that I have read that specifically addresses that point.
While lots of people have dismissed the proponents of genetic inferiority as an explanation for the "failure" of blacks in the USA, the rebuttals have invariably failed to contront the reasoning of the authors, preferring to dismiss them out of hand as "racist."
One thing that was lacking in this book is a more detailed analysis of the disparity between ethnic groups of the same race-- and yes, they do exist, contrary to what you would believe from reading the newspapers. For this, one of two Thomas Sowell books is a good read. The first: "Race and Culture." The second: "Knowledge and Decisions."
Unfortunately, the use of lots of technical jargon is going to put this fine piece of literature out of the reach of the vast majority of the hoi polloi.
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