A Brief History of Equality

Hosted by the Economica Journal and the Department of Economics

Online public event


Professor Thomas Piketty

Professor Thomas Piketty


Professor Sir Tim Besley

Professor Sir Tim Besley

Will the Covid-19 pandemic fuel social demand for equality and economic justice?

In this lecture, Thomas Piketty offers a refreshing perspective on the historical rise of equality from the 18th century until the early 21st century. The primary determinants of inequality regimes across societies, Piketty argues, are political and ideological, rather than economic or technological. If we remember lessons as to how societies handled past inequality crisis, it is possible to pursue the long-run trend toward equality.

Meet our speaker and chair

LSE alumnus Thomas Piketty (@PikettyLeMonde) is Professor at EHESS and the Paris School of Economics. He is the author of numerous research articles and of a dozen books. He has done historical and theoretical work on the interplay between economic development, the distribution of income and wealth, and political conflict. He is also co-director of the World Inequality Lab and the World Inequality Database. He is the author of the international best-sellers Capital in the 21st Century (2014) and Capital and Ideology (2020).

Tim Besley is School Professor of Economics of Political Science and W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics in the Department of Economics at LSE. He is also a member of the National Infrastructure Commission and, for 2018, is President of the Econometric Society. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and British Academy. He is also a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Economic Association and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

More about this event

The Economica Coase lecture series (after Ronald Coase's celebrated work on the theory of the firm published in Economica) was inaugurated in 2007.

Economica (@EconomicaLSE) is an international peer-reviewed academic journal covering research in all branches of economics.

The Department of Economics (@LSEEcon) at LSE, is one of the leading economics departments in the world. We are a large department, ensuring all mainstream areas of economics are strongly represented in research and teaching.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSECoase

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from A Brief History of Equality.

A video of this event is available to watch at A Brief History of Equality

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