One of the world’s leading economists of inequality, Branko Milanovic presents a bold new account of the dynamics that drive inequality on a global scale. Drawing on vast data sets and cutting-edge research, he explains the benign and malign forces that make inequality rise and fall within and among nations. He also reveals who has been helped the most by globalization, who has been held back, and what policies might tilt the balance toward economic justice.
Global Inequality takes us back hundreds of years, and as far around the world as data allow, to show that inequality moves in cycles, fueled by war and disease, technological disruption, access to education, and redistribution. The recent surge of inequality in the West has been driven by the revolution in technology, just as the Industrial Revolution drove inequality 150 years ago. But even as inequality has soared within nations, it has fallen dramatically among nations, as middle-class incomes in China and India have drawn closer to the stagnating incomes of the middle classes in the developed world. A more open migration policy would reduce global inequality even further.
Both American and Chinese inequality seems well entrenched and self-reproducing, though it is difficult to predict if current trends will be derailed by emerging plutocracy, populism, or war. For those who want to understand how we got where we are, where we may be heading, and what policies might help reverse that course, Milanovic’s compelling explanation is the ideal place to start.
About the Author
Branko Milanovic is Senior Scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study Center, and Visiting Presidential Professor, Graduate Center, City University of New York.
Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization is a brilliant and thought-provoking essay stuffed with enough graphs to satisfy the numerati, anecdotes for the general reader and political insights for the policy wonks. Read it.--Duncan Green"LSE Review of Books" (05/25/2016)
Global Inequality goes well beyond the narrative of rising inequality captured by French economist Thomas Piketty's surprise 2014 best-seller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. In his highly readable account, Milanovic puts that development into the context of the centuries-long ebbs and flows of inequality driven by economic changes, such as the Industrial Revolution, as well epidemics, mass migrations, revolutions, wars and other political upheavals.--Matt Phillips"Quartz" (03/01/2016)
In Global Inequality, Branko Milanovic continues his lifelong investigation into the past, present, and future of inequality, within and between nations and in the world as a whole. Full of new and provocative ideas--including Kuznets waves and citizenship rents--the book will cement Milanovic's reputation as one of the most thoughtful and enterprising of inequality scholars.--Angus Deaton, Princeton University
Branko Milanovic's new book is a welcome companion to Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century.--Vicky Pryce"Prospect" (05/01/2016)
Hard-hitting...Global Inequality reveals that the main losers of the past three decades of globalization have been the western middle classes. No wonder then that politics is turning so populist and pear-shaped in so many countries. In fact, Milanovic quite persuasively puts inequality worldwide at the heart of a wide range of ills, as threatening our economies and threatening our long-cherished democracies too...Whether you agree with his politics or not, the statistical support for Milanovic's story is as compelling as that garnered by Piketty last year. He is persuasive that political concern about rising inequality is more than a passing fad, and that we need to think about narrowing the gaps, inside countries in particular, if we are going to avoid very ugly social and political developments worldwide.--David Dodwell"South China Morning Post" (05/13/2016)
If there is one book you want to read to understand the tumultuous events of 2016, it has to be Branko Milanovic's Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization. Using clear prose and armed with tons of data, Milanovic presents a fascinating tale of the rise and wane of global inequality to identify very precisely the winners and losers of globalization within and across countries. In doing so, he revisits some of the hoary assumptions about inequality in economics, and raises disturbing questions about the stability of democratic capitalism.--Pramit Bhattacharya"Mint" (12/29/2016)
Branko Milanovic's much underestimated Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization, now being published in many languages, tells us more than any other recent book about the state of the world we live in and, at a time when hope is so urgently needed, offers us thought-provoking insights into the world we could become.--Gordon Brown"The Guardian" (11/25/2017)
Branko Milanovic has written an outstanding book. Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization is informative, wide-ranging, scholarly, imaginative, and commendably brief. As you would expect from one of the world's leading experts on this topic, Milanovic has added significantly to important recent works by Thomas Piketty, Anthony Atkinson, and Fran ois Bourguignon...Ever-rising inequality looks a highly unlikely combination with any genuine democracy. It is to the credit of Milanovic's book that it brings out these dangers so clearly, along with the important global successes of the past few decades.--Martin Wolf"Financial Times" (04/14/2016)