The Asset Economy
The Asset Economy
Rising inequality is the defining feature of our age. With the lion’s share of wealth growth going to the top, for a growing percentage of society a middle-class existence is out of reach. What exactly are the economic shifts that have driven the social transformations taking place in Anglo-capitalist societies?   

In this timely book, Lisa Adkins, Melinda Cooper and Martijn Konings argue that the rise of the asset economy has produced a new logic of inequality. Several decades of property inflation have seen asset ownership overshadow employment as a determinant of class position. Exploring the impact of generational dynamics in this new class landscape, the book advances an original perspective on a range of phenomena that are widely debated but poorly understood – including the growth of wealth inequalities and precarity, the dynamics of urban property inflation, changes in fiscal and monetary policy and the predicament of the “millennial” generation. Despite widespread awareness of the harmful effects of Quantitative Easing and similar asset-supporting measures, we appear to have entered an era of policy “lock-in” that is responsible for a growing disconnect between popular expectations and institutional priorities. The resulting polarization underlies many of the volatile dynamics and rapidly shifting alliances that dominate today’s headlines.
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  • November 2020
  • 176 pages
  • 143 x 219 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509543458
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509543465
  • Open eBook $16.00
  • 9781509543472
Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Asset Logics
3. The Making of the Asset Economy
4. New Class Realities
5. Conclusion
About the Author
Lisa Adkins is Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney.
Melinda Cooper is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Sydney.
Martijn Konings is Professor of Political Economy and Social Theory at the University of Sydney.
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“Adkins, Cooper and Konings make a timely and persuasive attack on generational and electoral understandings of contemporary class conflict and class reproduction. This is a must read for understanding the politics around the increasingly Minsky-like dynamics of the housing market.”
Herman Mark Schwartz, University of Virginia

“In teasing out the logic of the booming asset economy, Lisa Adkins and her co-authors  brilliantly update the analysis of class and inequality for the twenty-first century. This outstanding book will prove a vital point of reference to academics, students, and the wider public.”
Mike Savage, London School of Economics

“A timely, engaging and important book. If treated with the seriousness it deserves, The Asset Economy should set the agenda for future socio-logical studies of class and inequality concerned with their economic reproduction.”

“This book offers an important and timely analytical lens by which we can better theorize the growth of contemporary inequality and exploitation.”
Uneven Earth

“a highly readable and timely intervention”
LSE Review of Books

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