ECN300.1 The Economics of Inequality (Fall, Spring)

This course will examine the economics of inequality at both theoretical and empirical levels. Special attention will be directed to national and international forms of economic inequality alongside the major debates regarding their key drivers and appropriate policy solutions.

The issue of economic inequality has been thrust into the media and academic spotlight over the past decade. In many of the most high-profile and urgent issues and trends we are currently witnessing, the underlying issue of economic inequality is easily identifiable and indeed inescapable. At the national level, the issue of inequality has manifested itself powerfully through the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and the Brexit vote in the UK while globally the impact of, and policy responses to, both the climate challenge and the Covid-19 crisis continue to expose and exacerbate political fissures between advanced and developing economies.

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the economics of inequality in order to better understand these and other pressing issues in the contemporary political and economic landscape.

  • Part One provides an introduction to the definitions, measurements and debates on the economics of inequality at both national and international levels.
  • Part Two examines in greater detail the economics of inequality at the national level through the prism of economic, political and socio-cultural systems and evaluates the policies devised and implemented under different systems to address inequalities.
  • Part Three examines the economics of inequality at the international level paying particular attention to the role of world trade, aid, migration and multinational investment.
  • The course concludes by outlining several future scenarios for global economic inequality.

This course is particularly relevant for students pursuing careers in government, international organizations and NGOs but also to any persons interested in engaging in public debates on inequality in an informed manner with access to relevant facts, figures and concepts.

Prereq: ECN 101 and ECN 102 or ECN 203 or equivalent background in microeconomics

Department: Economics

Location: London

Semesters: Fall, Spring

Credits: 3