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Case 6: Lab – World Inequality Database /2547

The lab will explore the datasets available in the World Inequality Database, which reflects Thomas Piketty’s work on inequality.

No specific preparation is required as material will be provided in the lab. There will be participation and engagement marks from the activities in class.

Case 6 Task sheet

Background reading

Watch this>> Piketty, T (2014), New thoughts on capital in the twenty-first century, TED Salon Berlin, June [21 minutes] – you can also get the transcript from his talk, which may be helpful.

Alvaredo, F et al (2017), World inequality report 2018, World Inequality Lab

Other material

Avent, R (2014), The third great wave, The Economist, Oct 14th

The Economist (2014a), To those that have shall be givenThe Economist, Oct 14th

The Economist (2014b), Arrested development, The Economist, Oct 14th

The Economist (2014c), Technology isn’t workingThe Economist, Oct 14th

Mishraj, P (2014), The western model is broken, The Guardian, Oct 14th

Piketty, T and Zucman, G (2014), Capital is back: Wealth-income ratios in rich countries 1700-2010, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, pp1255-1310

Piketty, T and Saez, E (2013), Top incomes and the Great Recession: Recent evolutions and policy implications, IMF Economic Review, v61 No 3 pp456-478

WID Working papers library

Reflective commentary question for w20/21

“Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s managing director, said higher marginal tax rates for the better off were needed as part of a policy rethink to tackle inequality.
In a sign of how the IMF has moved away from the tax-cutting approach that once formed a central part of its policy advice, Georgieva said there needed to be a different approach to tackling what had become “one of the most complex and vexing challenges in the global economy”.”
(Elliott, 2020)

Given past data on wealth and income inequality, are high marginal tax rates for the very wealthy an effective means to counter such inequality?