Analytical paper

Equality, equity, and distributive justice (AP 22/03)

This paper provides a survey of the literature, addressing what is meant by concepts such as ‘equality’ and ‘equity’, and reasons why economic inequality might be problematic.


Thanks to Jonathan Boston, Paul Calcott, Diana Cook, Ramon Das, Katy Dineen, Margaret Galt, Morgan Hodgson, Tim Hughes, Allie Jarratt, Natalie Labuschagne, Chris Nees, Tim Ng, Patrick Nolan, Chris Parker, Amy Russell, Andrew Rutledge, Harrison Steiner-Fox and participants at the Treasury-Victoria University of Wellington School of Government roundtable.


The views, opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this report are strictly those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Treasury, Stats NZ or the New Zealand Government. The New Zealand Treasury and the New Zealand Government take no responsibility for any errors or omissions in, or for the correctness of, the information contained in this Analytical Paper. Access to the data used in this study was provided by Stats NZ in accordance with security and confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act 1975. The results presented in this study are the work of the author, not Stats NZ.