Beware False Prophets: Equality, the Good Society and The Spirit Level
By Peter Saunders, edited by Natalie Evans
Beware False Prophets is Policy Exchange’s critique of The Spirit Level, a book published last year by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, which argued that income inequality harms almost everybody in society, no matter how prosperous they are.
In Beware False Prophets Wilkinson and Pickett’s empirical claims are critically re-examined using (a) their own data on 23 countries, (b) more up-to-date statistics on a larger sample of 44 countries, and (c) data on the US states. Very few of their empirical claims survive intact.