Why the Rich Stay Rich (no matter what)

Hosted by the Department of International Development

Online public event


Dr Gabriel Palma

Dr Gabriel Palma

University of Cambridge

Professor Branko Milanovic

Professor Branko Milanovic

Stone Center on Socio-economic Inequality, CUNY


Professor James Putzel

Professor James Putzel

LSE Department of International Development

Dr Jose Gabriel Palma will discuss why the rich stay rich (no matter what). Professor Branko Milanovic is an invited discussant for the lecture. 

José Gabriel Palma is a Chilean economist; he has taught at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge since 1981 (now emeritus).  He is also professor of Economics at the University of Santiago (part-time).  He has a DPhil in Economics from Oxford University, and a PhD in Political Science from Sussex University.  Although his teaching at Cambridge focused on econometrics for postgraduate courses, his research has been directed toward the political economy of Latin America and Asia, the disparity of inequality around the world, and the impact of “financialisation” on developed and emerging countries.  His analytical interest has also been focused deindustrialization, where he developed a new way to understand (and measure) the “Dutch disease”, and the concept of “premature deindustrialization”.  He has also done research on the economic history of Latin America; the evolution of ideas in development economics and politics; and the political philosophy of neo-liberalism (especially in Foucault).  He is also co-editor of the Cambridge Journal of Economics.  The “Palma Ratio” was derived from his work on inequality ―this is an index for measuring inequality, an alternative to the traditional Gini.  The theoretical foundations of this ratio is that as the proportion of income that goes to the middle and upper-middle (deciles 5-9) is surprisingly homogenous across the world, almost all the distributional diversity is the result of the distributional differences in the other half of the population ―the richest 10% and the poorest 40% (see here and here). Click here to see Dr Palma's publications.

Branko Milanovic is a Senior Scholar at the Stone Center on Socio-economic Inequality at the City University of New York. Milanovic’s main area of work is income inequality, in individual countries and globally, including in pre-industrial societies. He has published articles on these topics in The Economic Journal, Review of Economics and Statistics and Journal of Economic Literature among others. His book Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization (2016), addresses economic and political issues of globalization. It was translated into sixteen languages and awarded the 2017 Bruno Kreisky Prize and 2018 Hans Matthöfer Prize. Branko was awarded (jointly with Mariana Mazzucato) the 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Knowledge. His most recent book is Capitalism, Alone.  

James Putzel is Professor of Development Studies and served as the Director of the Crisis States Research Centre. He headed the Centre's research programme on Crisis States, which was funded by the Department for International Development of the UK government. 

This talk is part of the Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking & Practice, 2021/22, series, a high-profile lecture series run by the Department of International Development at LSE and organised by Professor James Putzel and Professor in Practice Duncan Green.

The Department of International Development promotes interdisciplinary postgraduate teaching and research on processes of social, political and economic development and change. 

Twitter Hashtag for this series: #CuttingEdge2021

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