Updated reading list for “Inequality and the Financial Crisis” class

This is the updated reading list for the final class of PO4730.

4.9 Inequality and the Financial Crisis

For this final topic, we will look at the relationships between economic inequality and the financial crisis that has unfolded since around 2007/2008. The sovereign debt crises that have emerged from the original private sector financial problems have had large impacts on public expenditure — and so redistributive programmes. However, it has also been argued that inequality itself was an important cause of the original financial crisis in the USA. We will examine these issues. N.B. Readings may be updated at a later date for this topic as scholarly work in this field is still emerging.

Shorter/Popular Readings (Required)
Required Readings
  • Rajan, Raghuram G. (2010). Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, Introduction and Chapter 1
  • Krugman, Paul and Wells, Robin (2010a). The Slump Goes On: Why? New York Review of Books.
  • Krugman, Paul and Wells, Robin (2010b). The Way Out of the Slump. New York Review of Books.
  • Atkinson, A. B. and Morelli, Salvatore (2011). Economic Crises and Inequality. Paper prepared for the 2011 Human Development Report, funded by the United Nations Development Programme.
Further Readings

Some new year inequality reading

As a warm-up for the re-start of PO4730 in a couple of weeks, here are some short reads that are relevant to things we discussed last term.

Updated 2012/01/03

More Op-Ed Ideas

Pointers to Some Data

For those taking classes (MSc and SS) with me who have upcoming assignments, you may find it interesting and/or helpful to take a look at some data that relates to some of the issues that we have been discussing this term.

As inequality has been a theme in both classes, I have uploaded an export of the “Top Incomes” data from Atkinson et al to the class WebCT pages. (It’s available from the web site directly, but the export can be slightly fiddly.) It is a .csv file that you should be able to open in any spreadsheet (e.g. Excel).

Klaus Armingeon and collaborators make available two data sets – “Comparative Political Data Set I (23 OECD Countries)” and “Comparative Political Data Set II (28 Post Communist Countries)” – on their website. This aggregates together data from a whole variety of sources. See the codebooks for details of the variables, but you’ll find measures of electoral turnout, female political representation, electoral proportionality, welfare spending, and numerous others. They provide the data in the Excel format.

The Quality of Government Insitute at Gothenburg makes available “The QoG Time-Series Data” that you can find by clicking on the “Data” tab to the left of the home page. This data set is even larger than the Armingeon et al ones, and covers many more variables as well as many more countries. Again, see the codebook. The file is available in the .csv format.

Updated (2011/11/10)

Frederick Solt provides “The Standardized World Income Inequality Database“.