Brian Hill

Social cost

Inequality has been recognised as an increasingly pressing problem of our times. Currently, citizens and consumers have little information about how the money they spend is distributed among those involved in the conception, production and sale of the goods and services purchased.  In a recent op-ed, I suggest empowering them, by providing information on such inequalities at the point of purchase. Armed with this information, citizens can incorporate the related “social costs” into their purchasing decisions.

The theory

This paper sets out the economic case for the promise of the proposal, showing on a simple model that it will reduce income inequality (for populations which display the aversion to inequality typically found in empirical studies) and re-establish social efficiency.

In practice

A relative simple and legislatively light way of providing such information is via a public, free mobile application. This document draws up a roadmap for the development of such an app.


Here is a page of frequently-asked questions about the proposal (and some suggested answers).


For furthermore information, comments or expressions of interest, don't hesitate to drop me an e-mail.

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