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The Have and Have Nots


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Speaker(s): Branko Milanovic
Chair: Professor Danny Quah

Recorded on 8 February 2011 in Old Theatre, Old Building.

Inequality is a surprisingly slippery issue, involving not just straightforward comparisons of individuals, but also comparisons of price and consumption differences around the world – and over time. In this lecture Branko Milanovic, the lead economist at the World Bank's research division, will approach the issue in a new and innovative way, focusing on inequality in income and wealth in different time periods and contexts: from inequality in Roman times (and how it compared with inequality today), to depictions of wealth inequality in literature (Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina), to inequality across generations of a single family (the three generations of Obamas illustrating this theme). As for global inequality today, the talk will examine its main cause (differences in average incomes between countries), the role China and India might play, and, perhaps most importantly, whether global inequality matters at all, and if does, what can we do to reduce it. Branko Milanovic is one of the world's leading experts on inequality. He is lead economist at the World Bank's research division in Washington DC, a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and the author of The Haves and Have Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality.

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