One of the world’s leading economists of inequality, Branko Milanovic presents a bold new account of the dynamics that drive inequality on a global scale. Drawing on vast data sets and cutting-edge research, he explains the benign and malign forces that make inequality rise and fall within and among nations. He also reveals who has been helped the most by globalization, who has been held back, and what policies might tilt the balance toward economic justice.
Global Inequality takes us back hundreds of years, and as far around the world as data allow, to show that inequality moves in cycles, fueled by war and disease, technological disruption, access to education, and redistribution. The recent surge of inequality in the West has been driven by the revolution in technology, just as the Industrial Revolution drove inequality 150 years ago. But even as inequality has soared within nations, it has fallen dramaticallyamong nations, as middle-class incomes in China and India have drawn closer to the stagnating incomes of the middle classes in the developed world. A more open migration policy would reduce global inequality even further.
Both American and Chinese inequality seems well entrenched and self-reproducing, though it is difficult to predict if current trends will be derailed by emerging plutocracy, populism, or war. For those who want to understand how we got where we are, where we may be heading, and what policies might help reverse that course, Milanovic’s compelling explanation is the ideal place to start.
- At Harvard Business Review, read Branko Milanovic’s overview of a major idea behind Global Inequality: that the global 1% and the Asian (considered broadly) middle classes have benefited the most from globalization
- Listen to Milanovic discuss inequality on a global scale—and its effects on war and mass migration—on Texas Public Radio’s The Source
- At Bloomberg View, read Milanovic’s brief explanation of five powerful forces driving inequality
- Read an excerpt from Global Inequality at Stanford Social Innovation Review
- Read an analysis (for the lay reader) of one of Milanovic’s theories—that of the “elephant curve”—at Boston Review
- Read a Washington Post discussion of Milanovic’s findings on inequality as they relate to Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders’s respective campaigns for a “moral economy”
- Read a New York Magazine interview with Professor Milanovic in which he warns of an upcoming intragenerational struggle for increasingly scarce stable jobs and resources
- At Quartz, read an interview with Milanovic on the economic factors behind Donald Trump’s surprisingly successful presidential candidacy
- Read Milanovic’s interview with the São Paulo daily, O Estadão [in Portuguese]
- Read a Demos.org interview with Milanovic on income inequality
- Follow Branko Milanovic’s blog, globalinequality
- Browse a selection of HUP works on capitalism and its discontents
Review by Martin Wolf (Financial Times)
‘Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization’, by Branko Milanovic
The Graduate Center, CUNY: Is globalization responsible for increased income inequality? Three experts and Graduate Center professors explore the complex relationship between these large-scale economic trends. Featuring: Paul Krugman, Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist; Janet Gornick, director of the LIS Center; and Branko Milanovic, author of Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization. (Published on May 23, 2016)