In their influential and award-winning 2009 book The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson argue that societies with the biggest gaps between the rich and the rest are bad for everyone, including those who are most well off.
They contend that everything from life expectancy, mental illness and obesity to violence and illiteracy is affected not so much by the wealth of a society as by its level of inequality, and propose solutions to move towards a future that is both fairer and happier.
As part of our Fair Society series with the Policy Institute, we revisited The Spirit Level and its lasting impact on how we think about inequality.
- Kate Pickett OBE, Professor of Epidemiology, University of York, and co-author of The Spirit Level
- Richard Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology, University of Nottingham, and co-author of The Spirit Level
- David Aaronovitch, journalist, presenter and author
- Lucinda Platt, Professor of Social Policy and Sociology, London School of Economics
- Paul Drechsler CBE, Chair, International Chamber of Commerce UK and BusinessLDN, former President of the Confederation of British Industry
- Bobby Duffy, Director, the Policy Institute at King's College London (Chair)