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ISBN: 978-0-7623-1450-8, eISBN: 978-1-84950-508-6

ISSN: 1049-2585

Publication date: 6 July 2007


For equity, societies may wish to eliminate certain forms or manifestations of inequality. Horizontal equity and vertical equity in the income tax are topics which have interested me for some years. Although any shortfall from each of these objectives can be measured in terms of unwanted inequalities, equity per se is a different concept from equality. Equity relates to fairness, justice and other societal norms which give expression to the best aspirations of our collective social conscience. For example, equal access to health care for those in equal need is an accepted norm for horizontal equity in the health field. Vertical equity in this context means treating appropriately differently those who have different needs. When offered the opportunity to be Guest Editor of this volume of Research on Economic Inequality, I decided to define the focus simply as “equity”, without placing any further restriction on topics. The papers which were ultimately included in this volume are the ones, from among those offered, which survived a rigorous refereeing process. Each has its own “take” on the concept of equity, and its link with equality. I hope that you, the reader, will gain from reading all of these contributions and pondering their significance.


Lambert, P.J. (2007), "Introduction", Lambert, P.J. (Ed.) Equity (Research on Economic Inequality, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. ix-xii.



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