“Unequal Europe: Regional Integration and the Rise of European Inequality”, Csaba Lakócai (IWE CERS, Hungary)

Beckfield’s book is an empirical study on how European integrationhas affected the (mainly Western European) welfare state systems.Data analyses reveal a dual effect; household income inequality hasincreased over the past half century (before the global pandemic pe-riod) while the process of economic integration also drew nationaleconomies closer together among the Western European countries.Statistically, the book investigates a period from the first decadesof European integration until the mid of 2010s. It was published in2019, three years after the Brexit referendum in the uk and justbefore the covid-19 pandemic broke out. The empirical analysesare implemented with panel data on Western, Scandinavian, andMediterranean European countries, mainly, for which longer timeseries are available. Statistical data used for the quantitative analy-ses come from two major sources. One is the Eurostat database andother one comprises datasets of the Luxembourg Income Study. Theformer is mainly used for macro-economic data while the latter pro-vides cross-national micro-economic income data.

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