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Faculty & Research


Economic Segregation Is Associated With Reduced Concerns About Economic Inequality

Journal Article
Economic segregation is the geographical separation of people with different economic means. In this paper, the authors employ an archival study of attitudes in regions with varying degrees of economic segregation and a series of experimental studies measuring reactions to hypothetical levels of segregation to examine how segregation affects concerns about inequality. Combining correlational and experimental methods and examining attitudes about economic inequality in both the United States and South Africa, the authors show that when individuals of different means are segregated from each other, people are less likely to engage in economic comparisons and are therefore less concerned by inequality. Moreover, the authors find that this is true even when people are exposed to (and are aware of) the same levels of inequality, suggesting that segregation in and of itself affects attitudes about inequality. The authors' findings highlight the importance of economic segregation in shaping public attitudes about organizational and societal economic inequality.

Assistant Professor of Decision Sciences