The question of how inequality is generated and how it reproduces over time has been a major concern for social scientists for more than a century. Yet the relationship between inequality and the process of economic development is far from being well understood. These Raffaele Mattioli Lectures have brought together two of the world's leading economists, Professors Philippe Aghion (a theorist) and Jeffrey Williamson (an economic historian), to question the conventional wisdom on inequality and growth, and address its inability to explain recent economic experience. Professor Aghion assesses the affects of inequality on growth, and asks whether inequality matters: if so why is excessive inequality bad for growth, and is it possible to reconcile aggregate findings with macroeconomic theories of incentives? In the second part Jeffrey Williamson discusses the Kuznets hypothesis, and focuses on the causes of the rise of wage and income inequality in developed economies.
• Important and original new research on subject of great international importance • Philippe Aghion and Jeffrey Williamson are two of the most important economists working today • This book is the first in the revamped Raffale Mattioli Lecture series
Preface G. Toniolo; Introduction P. Aghion and J. G. Williamson; Part I. Inequality and Economic Growth P. Aghion; 1. Introduction; 2. Inequality, incentives and growth; 3. Technical change and the Kuznets hypothesis reconsidered; 4. Conclusions; References; Part II. Globalization and the Labor Market: Using History to Inform Policy J. G. Williamson; 5. Globalization, labor markets and convergence in the past; 6. Globalization and the causes of workers' living standard: convergence in the past; 7. Policy backlash: can the past inform the present?.