GV4D4: Politics of Inequality and Redistribution


These are my notes for GV4D4 at the London School of Economics for the 2017-2018 school year. I took this module as part of the one-year Inequalities and Social Science MSc program.

The usual disclaimer: all notes are my personal impressions and do not necessarily reflect the view of the lecturer.

Taught by Dr Jonathan Hopkin, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Government at LSE.


This module was 100% assessed via a 2-hour unseen exam and our exam papers were not returned to us, sadly. I vaguely remember writing about public choice theory and probably austerity as well.

Lecture notes

  1. Introduction (September 26)
  2. Growing the State, Shrinking Capital: Democracy, Redistribution and Inequality (October 03)
  3. Inequality and Redistribution in the Rich Democracies (October 10)
  4. Worlds of Welfare, Varieties of Capitalism (October 17)
  5. Liberalism and Inequality: Winner-Take-All Politics (October 24)
  6. Reading week (October 31)
  7. Politics against markets: social market economies (November 07)
  8. The Politics of Labour (November 14)
  9. Gender and Generational Inequalities (November 21)
  10. The Politics of Crisis and Austerity (November 28)
  11. Can the Inequality Trend Be Reversed? (December 05)

Introduction - week 1


(I didn’t do the readings in advance because, well, I didn’t know there were any—I hadn’t yet been offered a place in the course and so couldn’t access it through Moodle. But apparently you can view the reading list for any course at LSE through lse.rl.talis.com. Seems like there’s a lot of overlap with SO478, which is convenient for me.)

Inequality by Anthony B. Atkinson (introduction and chapter 1)

_(Writing up these notes on May 21, 2018, the day before the exam)

The thrust of this chapter is Atkinson trying to convince the average reader that equality of outcome is important (and that we shouldn’t focus solely on equality of opportunity). His reasons are as follows:

He also criticises the economics profession for failing to adequately address the topic of inequality thus far. His main concern with inequality is that it destroys social cohesion (“A society in which no one could afford to travel privately into space, and in which everyone could afford to buy their food from ordinary shops, would be more cohesive and have a greater sense of shared interests.”, p16) which is a little disappointing given that he mentions the social constructiveness of the prize structure early on.

On inequality being magnified within the upper echelons of the economy:

The upper tail of the distribution has some resemblance to a Russian matryoshka nested doll: wherever we slice the distribution we find the same inequality being reproduced within the remaining top part. (p20)

Highlights the increase in inequality in both the US and the UK since the 70s/80s, after dropping quite dramatically during WWII (and potentially for some period before and after, depending on which metrics you consider).

Mentions New Labour’s approach to inequality/poverty: “In 1999 under Tony Blair the UK government adopted an official target for the abolition of child poverty, with the aim of eradicating child poverty by 2020” (p24). Also:

The decline in poverty in the UK was accompanied by a marked rise in top income shares. The New Labour government was “intensely relaxed” (a contradiction in terms?) about people getting rich. However, the fall achieved in the past twenty years—for which credit must be given—still leaves the current UK poverty rate above the level of the 1960s and 1970s, a level that was regarded at the time as profoundly shocking. The Child Poverty Action Group was founded in 1965 when the poverty rate was 3 per cent lower than it is today. (p24)

(Incidentally, this has nothing to do with the chapter itself, but this New Socialist piece on New Labour’s social exclusion policy is quite good.)

This, on the link between poverty and high top income shares, is good (although Atkinson only illustrates this with quantitative data, rather than going deeper into the wage-labour-related reasons, at least for now):

There is still a long way to go. In my judgement, the eradication of poverty in rich countries requires us to think more ambitiously, beyond the strategies employed to date. We have to view our societies as a whole and to recognise that there are important interconnections: economics tends to assume away or downplay any interdependency between the economic fortunes of individuals (or households), but John Donne was right when he wrote that “no man is an Iland, intire of it selfe.” What happens at the top of the distribution affects those at the bottom. (p25)

Some important points on two different measures of inequality: income, and consumption. Both are complex and multifaceted, and neither is “demonstrably superior” to the other (p37). Also mentions that spending is about more than merely consumption, at least for the wealthy (it’s about power).

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty (introduction and chapters 1-2)

Challenging the idea that the capital-labour income ratio has been solid throughout history, at 2/3 to 1/3

[…] the shocks that buffeted the economy in the period 1914–1945—World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Great Depression, World War II, and the consequent advent of new regulatory and tax policies along with controls on capital—reduced capital’s share of income to historically low levels in the 1950s. Very soon, however, capital began to reconstitute itself. The growth of capital’s share accelerated with the victories of Margaret Thatcher in England in 1979 and Ronald Reagan in the United States in 1980, marking the beginning of a conservative revolution. Then came the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989, followed by financial globalization and deregulation in the 1990s. All of these events marked a political turn in the opposite direction from that observed in the first half of the twentieth century. By 2010, and despite the crisis that began in 2007–2008, capital was prospering as it had not done since 1913. (p41-42)

Defines “national income” as “domestic output + net income from abroad”, which can also be decomposed as “capital income + labor income” (p45); pretty straightforward. Defines capital as nonhuman capital, either private/public, and synonymous with wealth.

[…] I define “national wealth” or “national capital” as the total market value of everything owned by the residents and government of a given country at a given point in time, provided that it can be traded on some market. (p48)

Public wealth in most developed countries is currently insignificant (or even negative, where the public debt exceeds public assets). As I will show, private wealth accounts for nearly all of national wealth almost everywhere. (p48)

Introduces the (tautological) formula α = r × β, or, share of income going to capital = average rate of return to capital x overall capital-income ratio.

Most of this chapter is concerned with the details of how things are measured/calculated, so eminently skippable tbh.

Some interesting thoughts on the political instability faced in countries whose assets are primarily owned by other countries through corporations, or governments, or individuals (I suspect there’s a lot of nuance he’s missing here, since Piketty isn’t exactly a specialist on postcolonial theory, but at least it’s something):

When a country is largely owned by foreigners, there is a recurrent and almost irrepressible social demand for expropriation. Other political actors respond that investment and development are possible only if existing property rights are unconditionally protected. The country is thus caught in an endless alternation between revolutionary governments (whose success in improving actual living conditions for their citizens is often limited) and governments dedicated to the protection of existing property owners, thereby laying the groundwork for the next revolution or coup. Inequality of capital ownership is already difficult to accept and peacefully maintain within a single national community. Internationally, it is almost impossible to sustain without a colonial type of political domination. (p70-71)

On a different note, he has some interesting things to say about autarky, knowledge transfer, and capital flows:

To sum up, historical experience suggests that the principal mechanism for convergence at the international as well as the domestic level is the diffusion of knowledge. In other words, the poor catch up with the rich to the extent that they achieve the same level of technological know-how, skill, and education, not by becoming the property of the wealthy. The diffusion of knowledge is not like manna from heaven: it is often hastened by international openness and trade (autarky does not encourage technological transfer). Above all, knowledge diffusion depends on a country’s ability to mobilize financing as well as institutions that encourage large-scale investment in education and training of the population while guaranteeing a stable legal framework that various economic actors can reliably count on. It is therefore closely associated with the achievement of legitimate and efficient government. (p71)

Chapter 2

On demographic change, and its effects on inequality (through the vehicle of inheritance). A situation of low growth and high returns on capital leads to greater concentration of capital.

A good quote on the idea of “merit” being used to justify inequality:

For Dunoyer, natural inequalities included diff erences in physical, intellectual, and moral capabilities, differences that were crucial to the new economy of growth and innovation that he saw wherever he looked. Th is was his reason for rejecting state intervention of any kind: “superior abilities … are the source of everything that is great and useful…. Reduce everything to equality and you will bring everything to a standstill.” One sometimes hears the same thought expressed today in the idea that the new information economy will allow the most talented individuals to increase their productivity many times over. The plain fact is that this argument is often used to justify extreme inequalities and to defend the privileges of the winners without much consideration for the losers, much less for the facts, and without any real effort to verify whether this very convenient principle can actually explain the changes we observe. (p85)



No seminar this week (probably since no one had been offered a place yet).

Growing the State, Shrinking Capital: Democracy, Redistribution and Inequality - week 2


Inequality by Anthony B. Atkinson (chapter 2)

Only minimal notes (written after the fact), since I also read this chapter for SO478 last week (though I didn’t really take notes then either, tbh).

The end result of this process [of progressive taxation] was that, while the top decile of earnings in the US rose steadily relative to the median during the immediate postwar decades, this increase in earnings dispersion was not translated into increased overall income inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient. There was also a salient fall in the share of the top 1 per cent. More unequal rewards in the labour market did not translate into greater inequality of incomes. That this did not happen was due in part to the expansion of social transfers and in part to the increased labour-market participation of women acting in an equalising direction. These forces counteracting the rise in wage dispersion did not apply in the final quarter of the twentieth century. (p62)

Briefly mentions the rise of financialisation: “One consequence [of popular wealth being held via financial institutions] is that part of the capital income now accrues to the financial-services sector that manages these funds.” (p71) Also briefly mentions the relationship between unemployment and inequality, though it doesn’t go into the details and certainly doesn’t frame it in terms of class power (maybe in a later chapter?); the focus is on social exclusion.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty (chapters 3-6)

Chapter 3: we look at wealth over time in the UK and France, taking a brief detour though literature (Balzac, Austen) to illustrate. Early on, land comprised most of the value of capital, but now it’s mostly housing/industrial/finance. Recall that both the UK and France were imperial powers with large foreign assets, which allowed them to run up trade deficits without larger economic problems. In the UK, with cap-inc ratio of 6:1, public assets are worth one year of national income (slightly less than in France); this is balanced out by public debt so roughly zero net wealth. Thus most wealth is private.

One core difference between the two countries has to do with their treatment of debt. France defaulted on public debt (via inflation?) whereas the UK never did, and instead financed wars (etc) by borrowing from wealthy citizens, thus increasing public debt at the same time as private assets (the result of the British monarchy preferring to borrow money rather than raise taxes). Of course bondholders get paid interest, too. There was some inflation after both wars which lowered the value of public debts, but not to the same extent as in France. Still, this is what prompted Keynes’ famous 1936 claim of the “euthanasia of the rentier”, which was influenced by him seeing a collapse of rentierism as a result of inflation. The UK moved toward a more mixed economy (stronger welfare state and socialist policies like nationalisation) in the post-WWII era, which was influenced partly by the success of the Soviet Union and partly due to suspicions that the economic elite had collaborated with Axis Powers (mostly true). This resulted in both govts owning around 25-30% of their nation’s wealth by 1950s (though since the UK had massive debts, their net public wealth was negative until the 60s/70s). In the 70s, of course, things started to shift: cracks were visible in the Communist bloc, and stagflation + a tricky geopolitical situation paved the way for increasing liberalisation.

Chapter 4: Now we look at Germany, which is slightly different from the two cases above mostly because of important distinctions re: its colonial empire (basically, it was confiscated after WWI, as part of the Treaty of Versailles). Its capital consisted mostly of agricultural land. Hyperinflation in the 20s shrank the value of its post-WWI public debts, but of course that experience also had the effect of scarring the nation. During/after the wars, asset losses (mainly foreign) were more significant than physical destruction (revolutionary expropriation, nationalisation like that of the Suez canal). Plus firms went bankrupt during the depression, meaning stock/bondholders lost out, which had the effect of lowering the cap-income ratio and thus inequality.

The US: lots of farmland (which meant value/acre wasn’t very high) + populated mostly by recent immigrants who couldn’t bring much capital with them, so capital low at first. This reflected structural differences in inequality compared to Europe, as landlords and wealth owners had less power in such a large country with plenty of arable land for the taking. After WWII, asset prices remained low, and we saw extremely progressive taxation and lots of government spending (New Deal), but no nationalisation (unlike in Europe—wonder why?). Recall that the US was never a true colonial power (at least not in the same way as the trailblazers over in Europe), and in fact had a negative net foreign capital during the 19th century. Also note the role of slavery in US wealth. Canada was similar to US but slightly different politically due to the legal influence of the UK (no tea partying for us).

Chapter 5: notes from SO478 last week.

Chapter 6: mostly on the capital-labour income split in the 21st century. Most salient idea: α=r*β computes the share of income from capital.


Just going to start off this recap with a bit of heavy editorialising: these lectures are a ton of fun. If you’re at all interested in the politics of inequality, and have the opportunity to attend these lectures, you should. The lecturer is very engaging, despite material that can be quite dry at times. Bonus: he’s personally very left-leaning politically, which might not endear him to any Conservatives in the class, but works for me (and, really, if you’re teaching a class on inequality, you’d better be left-leaning—otherwise, what would you say, “inequality is fine because I’m rich and I don’t really care that others are poor”?).

Some paraphrased quotes to give you a sense of what the lecturer is like and what his political views are:

Inequality and the welfare state in the 20th century

Piketty’s book

What is capital? Adam Smith’s definition, “from the times before gender-neutral language was to be expected”:

That part of a man’s stock which he expects to afford him revenue is called his capital.

Piketty’s definition is a little more narrow: basically wealth. And his main purpose in looking at capital is in calculating the capital-income ratio. If we look at the composition of capital in the UK over the last three centuries, we see that the value of agricultural land eroded in the last century, and the value of domestic capital went down around WWI and has been climbing since then. Housing, of course, has gone up dramatically in value over the last half century.

Capital’s share of income has gone up somewhat steadily since around ‘75, though there has been a recent decline since the crash (capital defined as rent, profits, interest, dividends, capital gains, etc).

Piketty doesn’t do much justice to the poitical dimensions—his book is focused almost entirely on the structural economic features that result in greater inequality over time. Which is probably intentional (he is not trying to explain all the things that might affect inequality, but rather be meticulous about one particular component of it). Still, it means his take on inequality is very incomplete.

Other criticisms:

Our approach: the political and social institutions

This includes: political party scene, constitution, pre- and redistribution, welfare institutions, macroeconomic policy. We’ll be looking at two core (compatible) factors that explain changes in inequality:

The latter helps explain growth/reduction of government size as well as the difference between the distribution of votes and the distribution of (post-tax) income.

Meltzer/Richard’s simple model for explaining individual voter behaviour: individuals want to maximise income with a minimum amount of effort. Since the government taxes in order to redistribute, and the median voter has below average income, they vote for greater government spending as a way of getting more redistribution. Thus one could conclude that the government would grow and grow and grow. This prediction was made in 1980 and we all know what happened since then :(

Problems with this theory: it ignores institutional dynamics. For one, increased state spending doesn’t necessarily reduce inequality, depending on the political situation (maybe the money goes towards tax breaks for large corporate donors?). It also assumes that people are really “rational” in the sense proposed. But many voters act irrationally (according to an economist) or don’t have all the available information or believe in myths. Or they might prioritise other factors (cultural or religious ideas—national identity, pride, guns, abortion) over material factors! So they might end up voting in politicians that will take away their healthcare or otherwise do real material damage to them and still not regret it (partly because they might not have thought there was a better choice, and partly because they don’t understand the causality). In general, people tend to be “cognitive misers” who take mental shortcuts and vote out of habit. (Like the lecturer, who says he votes Labour “out of habit”.)

A summary of the ideational changes in macroeconomic policy:

We can think of political/economic ideas as having a key mediating role between forces (democracy and capitalism).


(I’m in seminar group 3, which actually takes place the Thursday after the lecture. Run by the lecturer.)


We started with introductions (where we’re from, and why we care about inequality). Pretty cool distribution of countries, mostly throughout Western Europe, the Middle East, and Asia (each country was represented by only 1 or 2 people). I mentioned my background in the tech industry and how I was radicalised partly by what I saw in the adtech space and partly by Trump, and that I’ve been reading a lot of critical theory and leftist political stuff since then. Hopkin’s response was encouraging—he’d never really gotten into critical theory (academia moves too slowly for him to switch topics easily), but he finds it interesting, and in general would like us to take a more critical approach to the texts we read.

Is inequality a political or economic phenomenon?

(Summarising the discussion.)

Obviously it’s both. There’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg element as well—political decisions are usually made in response to changing macroeconomic conditions, and these decisions further shape the economy. Piketty’s book is definitely more of an economic approach but he does mention some political elements. Atkinson’s book focuses more on social policies.

Other things mentioned:

Piketty’s argument

Leftwing vs rightwing governments

Another student mentioned that at least in the UK, left-wing governments tend to focus on income redistribution, whereas right-wing governments tend to focus on wealth redistribution (at least in theory) with the right-to-buy and similar practices. Perhaps this is because the Tories are trying to raise the status of capital to get everyone to buy into the collective capitalist dream? In any case, that’s an example of public policy affecting the distribution of capital (so it’s not just limited to market forces).

The US versus Europe

The capital-income ratio was significantly higher in Europe than in the US near the beginning of the charts, which would imply that the US would be more equal. And indeed it was, near the beginning! At least until the wars, when the value of capital was reduced dramatically in Europe (physically or otherwise). Think about why the trend has reversed since then. Did post-WWII American hegemony assure America’s current dismal place in the inequality rankings? Why did the political scenes of most European countries move so much more leftward?

Inequality and Redistribution in the Rich Democracies - week 3


Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty (chapters 7-11)

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9: inequality of labour income

Chapter 10

Chapter 11: merit and inheritance


The Meltzer and Richard model

(The 1981 theory proposed by Allan H. Meltzer and Scott F. Richard that was discussed last class. I personally think it’s extremely flawed but I guess it’s worth understanding better.)

The impact of different electoral systems

Why don’t people vote for greater distribution?


Some topics discussed:

Worlds of Welfare, Varieties of Capitalism - week 4


The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism by Gøsta Esping-Andersen (chapters 1-2)


Chapter 1

Chapter 2: decommodification

Varieties of Capitalism by Peter Hall and David Soskice (p1-69)



Started with a group-based activity where each group was given a description of a national economy and was asked to identify the type of economy (based on the readings). Pretty straightforward. The only unusual one was the description of Denmark, which combines a social democratic welfare state with a fairly liberal financial industry; this combination, sometimes called “flex-security”, isn’t really covered in the literature.

The following notes are just things I jotted down during the discussion (pretty scattered).

Liberalism and Inequality: Winner-Take-All Politics - week 5


Winner-Take-All Politics by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson

On the political features that account for America’s high inequality.

Organized Combat or Structural Advantage? by Jonathan Hopkin and Kate Alexander Shaw

On how the organised combat model that Hacker and Pierson developed to explain winner-takes-all inequality in the US doesn’t quite work for the UK, where a better explanation takes into account the structural advantage that elites derive from the ideology of unfettered markets (as pioneered by Thatcher and subsequently New Labour). Co-authored by the lecturer in 2014.

Why Hasn’t Democracy Slowed Rising Inequality? by Adam Bonica et al

Addressing the failures of the Meltzer and Richard model + similar models, specifically in the US. Gives five main reasons.

  1. both mainstream parties have moved rightward recently
    • both parties espouse neoliberal economic policy, with a focus on free markets at the expense of greater redistribution
  2. higher immigration (esp low-income migrants) & poor not voting means that the median voter tends to be more well-off than the median resident
  3. as private markets for welfare flourish, people get used to turning to market solutions for social services
    • they start to associate government spending with poor quality services & inefficiency, thus voting against spending increases
    • which ofc becomes sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy (ratchet effect?) because govt services that don’t get enough funding will get worse and worse
  4. influence of $ in policy-making, revolving door (those at the top are usually quite centrist in their views)
  5. lack of accountability of elected officials (gerrymandering, gridlock, voter apathy)

my own thoughts on this (though not necessarily relevant to this paper, which came out in 2013): we should also consider the impact of ossified structures & the power of individuals within those structures to have lasting impacts. part of the reason Bernie didn’t get the Dem nomination was due to Debbie Schultz’s desire (with the backing of others in the establishment) to keep him out no matter what. If she hadn’t had the institutional ability to do that, OR if she had just changed her mind, then maybe Bernie would have gotten the nomination & perhaps even the Presidency, and our view of the American political landscape would be very different



- week 6

Politics against markets: social market economies - week 7


Religion and the Western Welfare State by Philip Manow and Kees van Kersbergen

An essay from Religion, Class Coalitions, and Welfare States (PDF), published in 2010. Challenging the traditional explanations for Christian Democratic welfare states.

Once Again a Model (PDF) by Jonas Pontusson

From 2009 (appearing in the 2011 book “Futures of the Left”). On how Nordic social democracy continues to function in an era of globalisation.



Who are welfare states for?

We started by discussing this news story: Elderly husband’s plea as Scot’s wife of 30 years set to be kicked out of country due to Tory immigration crackdown. The big question revolved around whether he should be entitled to welfare or not.

On the development of welfare states

Iversion and Soskice

On religious explanations

The Politics of Labour - week 8


Inequality by Anthony B. Atkinson (chapters 4-5)

Chapter 4: Technological Change and Countervailing Power

He’s basically saying that as more and more jobs get automated, the traditional way we conceive of labour & labour markets needs to change (as it’s drifting farther and farther away from its original purpose of producing/distributing scarce goods), but never actually reaches what I think should be the ultimate conclusion: that we need to socialise the means of automation.

He does have a good quote on the perils of being too reliant on technology:

Experience with robots leads us off on a path where they, increasingly, over time, replace humans, the trade-off becoming increasingly favourable. But we could have taken an alternative path where the human-service element was emphasised and the skills of people were increasingly developed. We have therefore to consider the implications of today’s production decisions for where we would like to end up in the future. Here, the motives of the firm, giving priority to the specific interests of its shareholders, may not be aligned with the wider interests of society, and we need to consider the role of countervailing power, taken up later in this chapter.

On the other hand, he thinks the state needs to intervene in innovation in order to assure continued human employment. This is decidedly not a post-work take. He also has a weird take on the Baumol effect—instead of seeing it as a totally normal and acceptable thing (an obvious side effect of increasing productivity in manufacturing etc) he sees it as something to be concerned about and thus ameliorated through increasing technological investment in service sectors? I agree with his conclusion but the logic is strange. Surely that conclusion can be reached without having to mention the Baumol effect at all. But maybe he’s just trying to convince fellow economists who can’t see the value in something unless there’s a price tag attached to it.

In the second part, he talks about the countervailing forces that prevent corporations from doing the right thing, and suggests that the state take into account distributional concerns when regulating market activity. He recognises that his proposals are “flying in the face […] of the economics literature” which, I have to say, is quite an astounding thing to fathom given just how (frankly) tame his proposals are. That says something pretty worrisome about the state of economics & the world today, I suppose.

Finally, he goes into the broader ideological shift that led to the decline of the influence of unions, mostly spurred by the passing of anti-union legislation between 1980-1993.

Chapter 5: Employment and Pay in the Future

Comparative political economy and international migration (PDF) by Afonso Alexandre and Camilla Devitt

Published 2016. On the economic effects of immigration, distinguishing between LMEs and CMEs.

A Common Neoliberal Trajectory by Lucio Baccaro, Chris Howell

Published 2011. Argues that neoliberalism has transformed industrial relations, even in CMEs that are typically thought to be more resilient. Following Streeck, wants to shift focus to understanding commonalities of capitalism rather than differences on a nation-state level. Features a bunch of case studies on industrial relations within certain European countries. Some notes:

Summary: no country is fully immune to the changes wrought by neoliberalism, and the state has played some role in all of them (it’s never just a natural outcome of the free market etc). The biggest change is for greater employer discretion (what David Harvey calls “flexible accumulation” in his Brief History of Neoliberalism).



Gender and Generational Inequalities - week 9


The Religious Foundations of Work-Family Policies in Western Europe by Kimberly Morgan

An essay from Religion, Class Coalitions, and Welfare States (PDF), published in 2010.

I also accidentally came across this review of her 2006 book Working Mothers and the Welfare State, from which I took the following notes:

How we Grow Unequal by Patrick Emmenegger et al

An essay from Age of Dualization published in 2012.

The Age of Welfare (PDF) by Julia Lynch

From 2004. Proposes that the age-orientation of a welfare state isn’t explained solely by the political demands of senior citizens; instead, we can see it as the unintended consequence of early structural decisions + voter competition.



The Politics of Crisis and Austerity - week 10


Populism and the Economics of Globalization by Dani Rodrik

Published July 2017. On left-wing populism in Latin American and right-wing populism in Europe/US as the result of globalisation shocks. Incidentally, there’s a good 2013 New Left Review article on the term “populism” and its usage over time: Populism and the New Oligarchy (my notes are in Bookmarker).

Austerity by Mark Blyth (chapters 1, 6)

From 2013. I just read the whole book. The basic idea is that austerity is dumb and unjustified, due to a misreading (possibly deliberate) of the causes of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

Notes in Bookmarker.



Can the Inequality Trend Be Reversed? - week 11


Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty (chapters 13-16)

Chapter 13: A Social State for the Twenty- First Century

Chapter 14: Rethinking the Progressive Income Tax

Chapter 15: A Global Tax on Capital

Chapter 16: The Question of the Public Debt

Inequality by Anthony B. Atkinson (chapters 9-11)

Chapter 9: Shrinking the Cake?

Chapter 10: Globalisation Prevents Action?

Chapter 11: Can We Afford It?