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Understanding Inequality

  • Visions of Inequality
  • A Brief History of Equality
  • Unbound
  • Growth
  • The Race between Education and Technology

Books that give us a better understanding of inequality and what it means for our societies.

Author - Editorial Staff

Date - 13 November 2023

Time to read - 1 min

  • Visions of Inequality

    Visions of Inequality

    From the French Revolution to the End of the Cold War

    Branko Milanovic

    “A truly important book…Milanovic shows that the writings of centuries past have much to teach us about inequality, especially about class and power.” —Angus Deaton, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences

    A sweeping and original history of how economists across two centuries have thought about inequality, told through portraits of six key figures: François Quesnay, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, Vilfredo Pareto, and Simon Kuznets.

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  • A Brief History of Equality

    A Brief History of Equality

    Thomas Piketty, Steven Rendall

    Piketty guides us through the growth of capitalism, revolutions, imperialism, slavery, wars, and the building of the welfare state and shows how human societies have moved fitfully toward a more just distribution of income and assets, a reduction of racial and gender inequalities, and greater access to health care, education, and the rights of citizenship.

    “By moving the focus from inequality to equality, [Piketty] suggests that what’s needed isn’t only the harsh light of critique but also the remedy of repair.”

    —Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times

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  • Unbound


    How Inequality Constricts Our Economy and What We Can Do about It

    Heather Boushey

    From one of Washington’s most influential voices on economic policy, a lively and original argument that reducing inequality is not just fair but also key to delivering broadly shared economic growth and stability.

    “For a long time, the argument over inequality was about whether it was the price that had to be paid for a dynamic economy. In this outstanding book, Heather Boushey…shows that, beyond a point, inequality damages the economy by limiting the quantity and quality of human capital and skills.”

    —Martin Wolf, Financial Times

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  • Growth


    A History and a Reckoning

    Daniel Susskind

    Over the past two centuries, economic growth has freed billions from the struggle for subsistence and made our lives far healthier and longer. Yet prosperity has come at a price: environmental destruction, desolation of local cultures, the rise of vast inequalities and destabilizing technologies. Many now claim that the only way forward is through “degrowth,” deliberately shrinking our economic footprint. Instead, economist Daniel Susskind argues, we must keep growth but redirect it, making it better reflect what we truly value.

    “At a time when traditional notions of growth are increasingly being questioned, this book is profoundly important.”

    —Lawrence H. Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury

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  • The Race between Education and Technology

    The Race between Education and Technology

    Claudia Goldin, Lawrence F. Katz

    “A powerful explanation for what has driven changes in income inequality…and solutions for addressing it.” —Financial Times

    From Nobel laureate Claudia Goldin and her husband Lawrence Katz, an incisive history of American education—its great success in creating prosperity and equality during the 20th century and its relative decline since the 1970s.

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  • The Privileged Poor

    The Privileged Poor

    How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students

    Anthony Abraham Jack

    “The Privileged Poor breaks new ground on social and educational questions of great import [and] challenges us to think carefully about the campus lives of poor students and the responsibility elite institutions have for not only their education but also their social and economic mobility.”

    Washington Post

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  • The Pursuit of Equality in the West

    The Pursuit of Equality in the West

    Aldo Schiavone, Jeremy Carden

    One of the world’s foremost historians of Western political and legal thought proposes a bold new model for thinking about equality at a time when its absence threatens democracies everywhere.

    How much equality does democracy need to survive? Political thinkers have wrestled with that question for millennia. Aristotle argued that some are born to command and others to obey. Antiphon believe...

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