Research Update: Do the Swedes really aspire to sense and the Portuguese to status?

Recently published research from the field of sociology suggests that the Wilkinson and Pickett (2009) finding, that there is a strong correlation between the scale of income inequality within a country and the severity of multiple, discrete health and social problems, is also relevant to cultural activity. This paper reviews a key study which demonstrated that, among the 22 European countries analysed, there was a strong association between the income gap within a country and the cultural activity of its citizens. Importantly, cultural activity was found to be significantly higher in egalitarian countries, such as Sweden and Denmark, than in highly stratified countries, including Portugal, Poland and Greece.

Read the research update