Economics and Anthropology Reading Paper

This is a 2-page paper on Economics and Anthropology. The paper has 2 sources and is in MLA format. The paper compares and contrasts two articles, one regarding economics, while the other regarding anthropology.

This paper compares and contrast two articles, one regarding economics and the other regarding anthropology. The major area on which this comparison will be made is income distribution.
Summary Article1)

The article The Upside of Income Inequality primarily focuses on the recent rise in income inequality. The articles primary argument is that the inequality in income distribution is widening in the United States and the primary factor behind this widening gap is due to rise in income of highly educated and skilled workers and that this kind of inequality is beneficial and desirable. Comparing the situation with the inequalities in income in India and China where the inequality is primarily due to accelerated economic growth and overall improvement in the standard of living of the population of these countries.

The authors further argues that this trend is primarily because of highly educated people like college graduates receive a much higher salary as compared to lower educated workers like and the gap between these two classes has increased significantly in the last couple of decades. For e.g. in the 80s a college graduate earns 30 more, but now they earn 70 more. Thus the increased opportunity to advance through education played a significant role in widening income inequality. This increase in gap between the education earning resulted in a large number students returning to college after high school. Thus the rise in wage premium is directly attributed to the increase in college graduates. Recent surveys also show that the increase in college graduates among women and other ethnic groups, particularly women have moved to many high-earning fields. Higher education not only increases earnings but it also increases the standard of living. The demand of highly educated workers is increasing in every sector in the United States, because of the increase in demand of products and services only offered by highly educated and skilled employees. Increase in demand of higher education has nearly doubled the tuition fee in the last two decades.

Now that it is verified by the statistics that the major source of widening gap in income is increase in the demand of educated and highly skilled labor the question is it a good thing or a bad things. The authors think that in general it is a good thing because it is a sign of greater productivity in the economy. Though this inequality reflects higher returns to investment in education and human capital, but it is very limited, since the greater proportion of the American youth do not enter colleges, in particular the African Americans and the Hispanics. This is mostly because the lack of non-cognitive skills in these kids, which again is the result of broken families. The solution to this problem is to encourage more human capital investment.

Summary Article2
The second article Migrant Africa is an anthropology article regarding the migration of the African people. The migration in Africa included the migration from the countryside to the cities, from one city to another, and from a city to countryside. The primary reasons of migration are either economical i.e. to increase their income, shed poverty, and get better opportunities than available in their homeland or it is due to war or oppression, or natural catastrophes like famine, flood, earthquakes etc.

Now most of the African people migrate internally i.e. within the boundaries of a country. This is primarily because of disparity in the infrastructure and opportunities in different areas of countries. Since the demand of male workers is higher most immigrants are male, while their spouses are usually left behind or they come as a dependent migrant not alone. As the demand of highly educated skilled workers is higher in more developed regions like big cities most of the people migration to these cities are highly educated youth, which seek the return of their investment in human capital. While low or unskilled workers move to find opportunities not found on their home. Like most third world and developing countries, most of the capital investment is concentrated in a single capital or the largest city. Thus people from all part of the country migrate towards it in a large number, which create other social problems like overcrowded cities, shortage of electricity and water supply, lack of proper accommodation are some of the common problems of all the major African cities. These problems are further induced by high fertility rates in the migrating population.

Governments have adopted different policies to curb these problems like improving opportunities in rural areas, creating poles of regional growth, shifting capital city or through distribution of investment on medium sized towns through out the country to reduce the number of migrants to the primary major city. Many African governments also considered force return to the homeland, or to another government-developed town. But the planners have to realize that it is the flaw and unequal distribution of resources and development of social and economic infrastructure, which results in great influx of people to the large urban centers.

Comparison and Contrast of two articles
Both articles speak about inequalities. But the first article speaks about the inequalities in income of the workers in the United States. Moreover the first article speaks about the source of inequalities in income and argues that it is because of increase in higher education and increase in demand of highly skilled and educated workers. On the contrary the second article speak about the inequalities in the distribution of resources and opportunities in the African nations. It speaks that the phenomenon of migration is primarily because of this unequal distribution of development and concentration of capital investment on a single city, while leaving the entire country, in particular rural areas unattended. Thus the similarity of both articles is that both speak about inequalities, but here the similarities ends. The economic article has more to do with the economic consequences of the unequal distribution of income, and how the higher demand of educated and skilled workers is increasing their salary and income, which is widening the gap between the salaries of the educated and the uneducated, thus creating income inequality. Furthermore the authors here think this as a good thing.  On the contrary the anthropology article has its focus on the people of Africa, their movement from one place to another and the motives behind these decisions that these people make.

The article argues that the real factor behind all the migration process in the world and the third world developing countries in particular is the unequal distribution of resources and opportunities for the people through out the region. Unlike the unequal distribution of income because of higher education this unequal distribution considered a bad thing and mostly has dire and grave consequences. Thus inequality in one article is considered a good thing, while on the other article the author considers it a bad one and suggests remedies to cope with the worsening situation.


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