Inequality in the Twenty-First Century: A Review on Rockstars of the Realm

Author
Martyna Berenika Linartas
Content Type
Working Paper
Institution
Postgraduate Program on Sustainable Development and Social Inequalities in the Andean Region (trAndeS)
Abstract
Not only has been economic inequality on the rise, but also the research agenda on inequality has moved decisively from the fringes to the center of policy and academic interest. This new concern and concentration in respect to this topic, data records, and methodological approaches have given rise to a vast amount of literature. It is for this reason that I review the most important recent works engaging with the origins of economic inequality – a debate which remains highly controversial. The usual categorization to explain the different storytelling – “to be or not to be neoliberal” – seems inappropriate. In this review on “the rockstars of the realm” (Thomas Piketty, Anthony Atkinson, Branko Milanovic and Walter Scheidel), I argue that the question and reason behind different approaches is instead: politics or the economy, which is the master that defines the space for action? The gradually established allegory of “the mirrored hourglass of inequality” illustrates the salience of this cleavage.
Topic
International Political Economy, Political Economy, Capitalism, Inequality, Neoliberalism, Economic Inequality
Political Geography
Global Focus