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Justice and the American Metropolis$
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Clarissa Rile Hayward and Todd Swanstrom

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816676125

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816676125.001.0001

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Two Cheers for Very Unequal Incomes

Two Cheers for Very Unequal Incomes

Toward Social Justice in Central Cities

(p.105) 4 Two Cheers for Very Unequal Incomes
Justice and the American Metropolis

Douglas W. Rae

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter shows that most metropolitan inequality is among, rather than within, municipalities. It argues that justice may require increasing inequality within disadvantaged municipalities by attracting and working to retain high-income residents. Given the historical flow of American urbanization, a low degree of central-city income inequality almost always arises because the high end of the distribution has melted away. The healthiest central city economies—New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles, for instance—turn out to have very unequal income structures by overrepresenting both the lowest and highest strata. It is good to have inequality within the central city because it will otherwise fall between that central city and the suburban penumbra.

Keywords:   metropolitan inequality, municipalities, high-income residents, American urbanization, income inequality, income structures

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