How inequality became the big issue troubling the world’s top economists

Steve Schifferes (Professor of Financial Journalism at  University of London (what a position!)) has a piece.  The piece is based on the recent Nobel meeting at Lindau where inequality was one of the central issues of discussion.

Every three years, all Nobel Prize winners in economics are invited to gather in the tranquil setting of the German island of Lindau to meet a selection of bright young economists and discuss the state of their profession. But this year such tranquility was challenged by worrying political developments across the globe. Perhaps unexpectedly, one of the central themes of the meeting became what to do about inequality.

While not all laureates would go as far as Jean Tirole, the 2014 Nobel Prize winner, who said that economic inequality itself is a form of “market failure”, it is clear that the political and social effects of growing inequality are drawing increasing attention from those at the top of the economics profession.

In a panel discussion on inequality, James Heckman, the 2000 Nobel laureate, pointed out that inequality had grown faster in the US and the UK than other Western democracies. Heckman said that changes to the tax system that favoured the rich had to be a key part of the explanation. He was also worried about the decline in social mobility, particularly for those on low pay.

Heckman also pointed out that the low income of many single-parent families, whose numbers have increased sharply over the last few decades, had also increased inequality. He argued strongly for wage subsidies to boost the income of the working poor, and increased subsidies for childcare to help more single parents enter the labour market.

Hmm…Much more there..

One Response to “How inequality became the big issue troubling the world’s top economists”

  1. vikramml Says:

    Sigh… links below offered without comment…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/8049211/The-benefit-of-being-a-single-mother.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1253635/Quarter-mothers-single-parents-enticed-benefits-lifestyle-choice.html

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