Recommended books

1. Normative theories of distributive justice:

  • Rawls, J. (1973). A theory of justice. Harvard University Press, Cambridge

  • Sen, A. (1995). Inequality reexamined. Oxford University Press, Oxford

  • Roemer, J. E. (1998). Theories of distributive justice. Harvard University Press, Cambridge

2. Economists on the history of inequality:

  • The long run evolution of wealth-inequality and its causes:

    Piketty, T. (2014). Capital in the 21st Century. Harvard University Press, Cambridge

  • Education, technology, and inequality:

    Goldin, C. D. and Katz, L. F. (2009). The race between education and technology. Harvard University Press

  • Global inequality of health and incomes:

    Deaton, A. (2013). The great escape: Health, wealth, and the origins of inequality. Princeton University Press, Princeton

  • Historical origins – the slave system

    Fogel, R. W. (1994). Without consent or contract: the rise and fall of American slavery. WW Norton & Company

  • Policy alternatives:

    Atkinson, A. B. (2015). Inequality: What Can be Done? Harvard University Press

3. Perspectives outside economics:

  • The sociology of social classes:

    Wright, E. O. (2005). Approaches to class analysis. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  • Feminist perspectives:

    Fraser, N. (2013). Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis. Verso Books

Chapters 4 – 10 are complementing the following external readings; links to each of these can be found in the corresponding chapters:

  • Chapter 3
    Topic: The long run evolution of inequality as measured by top income shares
    Method: Pareto distribution, maximum likelihood, (interval) censored data

    Atkinson, A. B., Piketty, T., and Saez, E. (2011). Top incomes in the long run of history. Journal of Economic Literature, 49(1): 3 – 71.

  • Chapter 4
    Topic: The long run evolution of gender inequality
    Method: Cohort analysis

    Goldin, C. (2006). The quiet revolution that transformed women's employment, education, and family. American Economic Review, 96(2):1 – 21.

  • Chapter 5
    Topic: Racial discrimination
    Method: Potential outcomes, treatment effects, randomized experiments

    Bertrand, M. and Mullainathan, S. (2004). Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination. American Economic Review, 94(4): 991 – 1013.

  • Chapter 6
    Topic: The effect of de-unionization on inequality
    Method: Distributional decompositions, reweighting

    Fortin, N. M. and Lemieux, T. (1997). Institutional changes and rising wage inequality: Is there a linkage? The Journal of Economic Perspectives,11(2): pp. 75 – 96.

    Firpo, S., Fortin, N., and Lemieux, T. (2011). Decomposition methods in economics. Handbook of Labor Economics, 4:1 – 102.

  • Chapter 7
    Topic: Labor demand and labor supply, technical change, immigration
    Method: Estimation of demand systems

    Card, D. (2009). Immigration and inequality. The American Economic Review, 99(2): 1 – 21.

    Boustan, L. P. (2009). Competition in the promised land: Black migration and racial wage convergence in the north, 1940 – 1970. The Journal of Economic History, 69(03): 755 – 782.

    Autor, D. H., Katz, L. F., and Kearney, M. S. (2008). Trends in US wage inequality: Revising the revisionists. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 90(2): 300 – 323.

  • Chapter 8
    Topic: Intergenerational mobility
    Method: Measurement error
  • Chetty, R., Hendren, N., Kline, P., and Saez, E. (2014). Where is the land of opportunity? The geography of intergenerational mobility in the United States. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 129(4): 1553 – 1623.

    Black, S. and Devereux, P. (2011). Recent developments in intergenerational mobility. Handbook of Labor Economics, 4: 1487 – 1541.

  • Chapter 9
    Topic: The welfare impact of changing prices and wages
    Method: Equivalent variation, conditional causal effects
  • Deaton, A. (1989). Rice prices and income distribution in Thailand: a non-parametric analysis. The Economic Journal, pages 1 – 37.

    Kasy, M. (2014). Who wins, who loses? Tools for distributional policy evaluation. working paper.

  • Chapter 10
    Topic: Redistributive taxation
    Method: Computing optimal income tax schedules
  • Saez, E. (2001). Using elasticities to derive optimal income tax rates. The Review of Economic Studies, 68(1): 205 – 229.