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Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know


  • Galbraith, James K.

    (Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and Professor, Department of Government, University of Texas, Austin)


Over the past thirty years, the issue of economic inequality has emerged from the backwaters of economics to claim center stage in the political discourse of America and beyond a change prompted by a troubling fact: numerous measures of income inequality, especially in the United States in the last quarter of the twentieth century, have risen sharply in recent years. Even so, many people remain confused about what, exactly, politicians and media persons mean when they discuss inequality. What does "economic inequality " mean? How is it measured? Why should we care? Why did inequality rise in the United States? Is rising inequality an inevitable feature of capitalism? What should we do about it? Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know takes up these questions and more in plain and clear language, bringing to life one of the great economic and political debates of our age. Inequality expert James K. Galbraith has compiled the latest economic research on inequality and explains his findings in a way that everyone can understand. He offers a comprehensive introduction to the study of economic inequality, including its philosophical and theoretical origins, the variety of concepts in wide use, empirical measures and their advantages and disadvantages, competing modern theories of the causes and effects of rising inequality in the United States and worldwide, and a range of policy measures. This latest addition to the popular What Everyone Needs to Know series from Oxford University Press will tell you everything you need to know to make informed opinions on this significant issue.

Suggested Citation

  • Galbraith, James K., 2016. "Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780190250478.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780190250478

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruce E. Kaufman, 2018. "How Capitalism Endogenously Creates Rising Income Inequality and Economic Crisis: The Macro Political Economy Model of Early Industrial Relations," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 131-173, January.
    2. Hanna Karolina Szymborska, 2022. "Rethinking inequality in the 21st century – inequality and household balance sheet composition in financialized economies," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 24-72, January.
    3. Gökçer Özgür & Ceyhun Elgin & Adem Y. Elveren, 2021. "Is informality a barrier to sustainable development?," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1), pages 45-65, January.
    4. Tudorache, Maria-Daniela, 2020. "Sustainable development in European Union as expression of social, human, economic, technological and environmental progress," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 191-204.
    5. Adriana AnaMaria Davidescu & Tamara Maria Nae & Margareta-Stela Florescu, 2022. "Exploring the Moderation and Mediation Effects in Addressing the Main Determinants of Income Inequalities in Supporting Quality of Life: Insights from CEE Countries," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(14), pages 1-28, July.
    6. Stelios Rozakis & Athanasios Kampas, 2022. "An interactive multi-criteria approach to admit new members in international environmental agreements," Operational Research, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 3461-3487, September.
    7. Palma, José Gabriel, 2020. "Why the rich always stay rich (no matter what, no matter the cost)," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), December.
    8. Gil-Alana, Luis A. & Škare, Marinko & Pržiklas-Družeta, Romina, 2019. "Measuring inequality persistence in OECD 1963–2008 using fractional integration and cointegration," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 65-72.
    9. Dávid Paár & Zoltán Pogátsa & Pongrác Ács & András Szentei, 2022. "The Relationship between Inequalities in Household Sports Consumption Expenditures and Income Level," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(23), pages 1-21, November.
    10. Tamara NAE, 2019. "Income inequalities and economic convergence in CEE countries," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(2(619), S), pages 149-156, Summer.
    11. Echeverri-Carroll, Elsie L. & Oden, Michael D. & Gibson, David V. & Johnston, Evan A., 2018. "Unintended consequences on gender diversity of high-tech growth and labor market polarization," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 209-217.
    12. Khachaturyan, Marianna & Peterson, E. Wesley F., 2016. "Economic Inequality and Changing Family Structure," Cornhusker Economics 306977, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    13. Anghel Ionuţ-Marian, 2017. "Measuring income inequality: comparative datasets and methodological deficiencies. An overview of income inequality in Romania during postsocialism," Social Change Review, Sciendo, vol. 15(1-2), pages 55-82, December.
    14. Palma, J. G., 2019. "Why is inequality so unequal across the world? Part 1. The diversity of inequality in disposable income: multiplicity of fundamentals, or complex interactions between political settlements and market ," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1999, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    15. Jose Luis Retolaza & Leire San-Jose, 2021. "Understanding Social Accounting Based on Evidence," SAGE Open, , vol. 11(2), pages 21582440211, April.
    16. James K. Galbraith, 2019. "Sparse, Inconsistent and Unreliable: Tax Records and the World Inequality Report 2018," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 50(2), pages 329-346, March.
    17. Mary Cleveland, 2020. "Homelessness and Inequality," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 79(2), pages 559-590, March.
    18. Coveri, Andrea & Pianta, Mario, 2022. "Drivers of inequality: wages vs. profits in European industries," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 230-242.
    19. Simona-Roxana Ulman & Costica Mihai & Cristina Cautisanu, 2020. "Peculiarities of the Relation between Human and Environmental Wellbeing in Different Stages of National Development," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(19), pages 1-26, October.
    20. Natalia Martín Fuentes & Elena Bárcena Martín & Salvador Pérez Moreno, "undated". "Who takes the cake? The heterogeneous effect of ECB accommodative monetary policy across income classes," Working Papers 657, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    21. E. Wesley F. Peterson, 2017. "Is Economic Inequality Really a Problem? A Review of the Arguments," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 6(4), pages 1-25, December.

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