42614 - Economics of Inequality

Course Unit Page

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

No poverty Reduced inequalities Climate Action

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course offers an introduction to the economic analysis of inequality and of the main theories of distributive justice. It aims to provide the conceptual tools needed to allow students to understand the main theoretical and empirical issues and to take part, with sufficient precision and autonomy, to the contemporary political and economic debate on inequality.

Course contents

The course offers an introduction to the economic analysis of inequality, both at national and global level.

The lectures will cover the following arguments:

+ Concepts and measures of inequality;

+ Models of capitalism and inequality within country: functional and personal distribution;

+ From the Belle époque to present: the dynamics of inequality in advanced countries and its interpretations. 

+ Inequality, opportunity and meritocracy;

+ Inequality and economic development;

+ Inequality between countries and global inequality;

+ Poverty and inequality in the least developed countries;

+ Inequality and global warming.

 

The detailed syllabus will be available at the course start.


Readings/Bibliography

The complete bibliography will be given at the beginning of the course. 

+ Concepts and measures of inequality

Galbraith J., Inequality. What everyone needs to know, Oxford University Press, 2016, ch. 1, 2, 4, 5.

+ Models of capitalism and inequality within country: functional and personal distribution

Galbraith J., Inequality. What everyone needs to know, Oxford University Press, 2016, ch. 2, 7.

Glynn A., Functional distribution and inequality, in: Nolan B. et al. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Economic Inequality, 2011, Oxford University Press, pp. 102-127.

+ From the Belle époque to present: the dynamics of inequality in advanced countries and its interpretations.

Piketty T., Saez E., Inequality in the long run, 2014, Science, vol. 344, pp. 838-843.

Piketty T., Capital in XXI century, Belknap Press 2014, ch. 8;

Piketty, T., Capital and Ideology, Belnkap Press, 2020, selected chapters;

+ Inequality, opportunity and meritocracy

Corak M., Income inequality, equality of opportunity and intergenerational mobility, 2013, Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 27, pp.79-102.

+ Inequality and economic deveopment

Milanovic B., Global Inequality. A New Approach for the Age of Globalization, Belknap Press, 2016, ch.2.

Galbraith J., Inequality. What everyone needs to know, Oxford University Press, 2016, ch. 7.

Piketty T., The Kuznets curve: yesterday and tomorrow. In: Bannerjee A. et al. (Eds.), Understanding Poverty, Oxford University Press, 2006, ch. 4

+ International and global inequality

Lakner C. and Milanovic B., Global income distribution: from the fall of the Berlin wall to the great recession, 2015, The World Bank Review, vol. 30, pp. 203-232.

Milanovic B., Global Inequality. A New Approach for the Age of Globalization, Belknap Press, 2016, ch. 3, 4;

+ Poverty and inequality in the least developed countries

 Deininger K., Squire L., New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth, 1998, Journal of Development Economics, vol. 57, 259-287.

Lipton M., Land Reform in Developing Countries, Routledge, 2009, chapter 2;

+ Inequality and global warming

Burke M. et al., Global non-linear effect of temperature on economic production, 2015, Nature, vol. 527, 235-239.

Diffennbaugh S., Burke M., Global warming has increased global economic inequality, 2019, PNAS, vol. 116, 9808-9813.

Piketty T., Chancel, Carbon and inequality. From Kyoto to Paris: trends in the global inequality of carbon emissions and prospects for an equitable adaptation fund, 2013, Paris School of Economics.

 

 


Teaching methods

The course is organized in lectures and seminars. Lectures (24 hours) aim to introduce students to the core tenets of the discipline. Seminars (16 hours) aim to provide occasions for in-depth discussions of class materials. For the seminar section, students active participation is required.  

For the seminar section of the course, students will be divided in six small groups. To each group, a topic will be assigned at the beginning of the course. Each group will present the outcome of his research. Each seminar presentation lasts one hours and it is followed by one hour of discussion.

The topics covered in the seminar section will be communicated at the beginning of the course. 

 

Assessment methods

 The assessment involves two parts: a) a group presentation of about 60 minutes (followed by discussion) on the specific topic assigned; b) an individual written report on a general topic (identical for all students) that will be communicated at the course start.

The weight of the class presentation is 0.4; the weight of the report is 0,6. The score of the group presentation is identical for all the group members. Active participation in the discussions will be rewarded. 

The written report is individual. This must be understood as a sort of "technical covering report" of no more than 4 pages in which a synthetic critical assessment of the general topic is presented (for instance, observed trends and the possible interpretations, the main causal relationships, the aspects still unknown, …).

Students are not allowed to reject the presentation grade.  However they're allowed to reject (but only once) the final grade; in this case, students must re-write the technical covering report. 

For the not-attending students the exam will be oral and it will cover all the arguments of the course.

Teaching tools

MS TEAMS  

Office hours

See the website of Giorgio Giovanni Negroni