Thomas Piketty and others have prompted renewed interest in understanding long-term patterns of inequality. This column presents evidence from pre-industrial Europe. Inequality rose even during the success stories of early modern Europe, but it can hardly have been the sole requisite for growth. In both economic history and today’s economic theory, the idea of a universal trade-off between growth and inequality needs to be replaced by stronger attention to social processes and institutional developments.
Guido Alfani, Wouter Ryckbosch, Friday, November 6, 2015 - 00:00
Facundo Alvaredo, Tony Atkinson, Salvatore Morelli, Sunday, September 6, 2015 - 00:00
The concentration of personal wealth is now receiving a great deal of attention – after having been neglected for many years. One reason is the growing recognition that, in seeking explanations for rising income inequality, we need to look not only at wages and earned income but also at income from capital, particularly at the top of the distribution. In this paper, we use evidence from existing data sources to attempt to answer three questions: (i) what is the share of total personal wealth that is owned by the top 1 per cent, or the top 0.1 per cent? (ii) is wealth much more unequally distributed than income? (iii) is the concentration of wealth at the top increasing over time? The main conclusion of the paper is that the evidence about the UK concentration of wealth post-2000 is seriously incomplete and significant investment is necessary if we are to provide satisfactory answers to the three questions.
Melissa S. Kearney, Phillip B. Levine, Thursday, July 16, 2015 - 00:00
Early childhood education has important effects on the academic readiness and ultimate life chances of children. This column examines how the introduction of the educational television show Sesame Street in the US affected primary school outcomes for disadvantaged children. Those from counties that had better access to the broadcast had superior educational outcomes through their early school years. These effects were particularly pronounced for black, non-Hispanic children, and those living in economically disadvantaged areas. The extremely low cost per child of such interventions make them ideal for addressing educational inequality in childhood.
Matthew E. Kahn, Cong Sun, Siqi Zheng, Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 00:00
China’s cities suffer from extremely high levels of air pollution, and Chinese consumers spend more than $US100 million on anti-smog products per year. Using recent internet sales data, this column explores how investing in such self-protection products varies for consumers with different income brackets. The urban poor are shown to be less likely to engage in this health-improving strategy. This suggests that cross-sectional income comparisons understate lifetime inequality.
Branko Milanovic, Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 00:00
Our level of income is unarguably dependent on where we live in the world. But evidencing this is tricky. This column presents a model that explains global income variability using one variable only – where you live. The results suggest that we might want to reassess how we think about both economic migration and global inequality of opportunity.
Roland Bénabou, Davide Ticchi , Andrea Vindigni, Sunday, April 19, 2015 - 00:00
Juan Carluccio, Denis Fougère, Erwan Gautier, Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 00:00
Trevon D. Logan, John M. Parman, Monday, March 9, 2015 - 00:00
Alan J Auerbach, Kevin Hassett, Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - 00:00
Jason Furman, Friday, February 20, 2015 - 00:00
Jean-Marie Grether, Nicole A. Mathys, Caspar Sauter, Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 00:00
Kirill Shakhnov, Saturday, January 17, 2015 - 00:00
Enrico Minelli, Friday, December 19, 2014 - 00:00
Branko Milanovic, Roy van der Weide, Saturday, November 29, 2014 - 00:00
Loukas Karabarbounis, Brent Neiman, Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 00:00
David Dollar, Tatjana Kleineberg, Aart Kraay, Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 00:00
Fabian Kindermann, Dirk Krueger, Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 00:00
Charles A.E. Goodhart, Philipp Erfurth, Monday, November 3, 2014 - 00:00
Katharina Knoll, Moritz Schularick, Thomas Steger, Saturday, November 1, 2014 - 00:00
Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman, Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 00:00