Academics whose work sparked worldwide debate about wealth
inequality will give a public lecture in Dunedin next week.
The Spirit Level: Why Equality Is Better For Everyone
authors Prof Richard Wilkinson and Prof Kate Pickett will
speak about the link between societal problems and the wealth
divide revealed by their controversial research.
The British academics argued that more equal countries do
better on a host of measures, regardless of the country's
Emeritus Prof Sir Alan Mark said The Spirit Level started the
debate on health and social ills wrought by economic
inequality when it was published five years ago.
Sir Alan organised the Dunedin visit, securing agreement from
the University of Otago to fund expenses.
The two epidemiologists were visiting New Zealand to give the
Sir Douglas Robb Lectures in Auckland. At Sir Alan's
invitation, the academics have added Dunedin to their
The Spirit Level aimed for a general audience, and Sir
Alan believed its themes attracted those beyond the academic
The issue was pertinent for New Zealand, once a ''prime
egalitarian'' society. The book highlighted New Zealand's
high level of inequality and the accompanying social
The talk is at 5.30pm on Monday at the College of Education