The Political Economy of Inequality
The Political Economy of Inequality

During the last few decades, the gap between the incomes, wealth and living standards of rich and poor people has increased in most countries. Economic inequality has become a defining issue of our age.

In this book, leading political economist Frank Stilwell provides a comprehensive overview of the nature, causes, and consequences of this growing divide. He shows how we can understand inequalities of wealth and incomes, globally and nationally, examines the scale of the problem and explains how it affects our wellbeing. He also shows that, although governments are often committed to ‘growth at all costs’ and ‘trickle down’ economics, there are alternative public policies that could be used to narrow the gap between rich and poor.

Stilwell’s engaging and clear guide to the issues will be indispensable reading for all students, general readers and scholars interested in inequality in political economy, economics, public policy and beyond.

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  • March 2019 (pb)
    March 2019 (hb)
  • 250 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509528646
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509528653
  • Open eBook $24.95
  • 9781509528684
Table of Contents



1. Mind the Gap

2. Incomes, Wealth, Poverty and Equity


3. Scales and Shapes of Inequality

4. Shifting Shares

5. Multi-dimensional Inequalities


6. Explaining Who Gets What

7. Driving the Disparities


8. Hazards to Handle: Opportunities to Grasp

9. Towards Happier Societies?


10. Redistribution

11. Progressive Pre-distribution

12. A Global Challenge


13. Impediments to Equity

14. Making the Future



About the Author
Frank Stilwell is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney
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"This is a very valuable book that will be helpful to anyone studying economic inequality. It contains an admirably clear overview of the causes, nature and consequences of inequality, and perceptively analyses the policies that could tackle the growing gap between rich and poor."
Gabriel Zucman, University of California, Berkeley

"Concerns about the scale and impact of inequality are growing, around the world and across different academic disciplines.  Frank Stilwell sets out, in a clear and comprehensive guide, everything you need to know about the causes and consequences of economic inequality, as well as the changes needed to create a more equal world."
Kate Pickett, University of York

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