The Economics of Inequality


Lecturer: Prof. Mishael Milakovic, PhD, Jan Schulz

For about the last four decades, the economics profession was largely of the opinion that economic inequality is not a problem of particular interest and, if anything, represents a necessary condition for economic efficiency. Piketty’s book on “Capital in the 21st Century” and its wide reception in and outside of academia, however, testify to the revived interest in this topic, particularly with respect to the inequalities in personal income or wealth, both across and within countries.

The three main goals of the course are thus to familiarize students

(i) with the major strands of economic theory that address the inequalities in the distribution of income or wealth,

(ii) with different concepts of measuring inequality, and

(iii) with international empirical data of such measurements.

Irrespective of whether a reduction in inequality is politically desired or not, students should understand the fundamental challenges that policy design will necessarily face, especially in light of the considerable historical fluctuations in inequality.

This course will be taught in English.

More information on this course can be found in Univis and here:

The Economics of Inequality(22.3 KB, 2 pages)