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The Globalization of Inequality
François Bourguignon
Translated by Thomas Scott-Railton
With a new preface by the author

Selected for A Financial Times Summer Books selection
One of Financial Times Best Books in Economics of the Year
A Financial Times Summer Books 2015 selection
One of Financial Times ( Best Books in Economics 2015, chosen by Martin Wolf

Paperback | 2017 | $18.95 | £14.95 | ISBN: 9780691175645
224 pp. | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | 3 line illus. 2 tables.
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eBook | ISBN: 9781400885558 |
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In The Globalization of Inequality, distinguished economist and policymaker François Bourguignon examines the complex and paradoxical links between a vibrant world economy that has raised the living standard of over half a billion people in emerging nations such as China, India, and Brazil, and the exponentially increasing inequality within countries. Exploring globalization's role in the evolution of inequality, Bourguignon takes an original and truly international approach to the decrease in inequality between nations, the increase in inequality within nations, and the policies that might moderate inequality’s negative effects.

Demonstrating that in a globalized world it becomes harder to separate out the factors leading to domestic or international inequality, Bourguignon examines each trend through a variety of sources, and looks at how these inequalities sometimes balance each other out or reinforce one another. Factoring in the most recent economic crisis, Bourguignon investigates why inequality in some countries has dropped back to levels that have not existed for several decades, and he asks if these should be considered in the context of globalization or if they are in fact specific to individual nations. Ultimately, Bourguignon argues that it will be up to countries in the developed and developing world to implement better policies, even though globalization limits the scope for some potential redistributive instruments.

An informed and original contribution to the current debates about inequality, this book will be essential reading for anyone who is interested in the future of the world economy.

François Bourguignon is professor emeritus and former director at the Paris School of Economics. From 2003 to 2007 he was chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank.


"This timely and excellent primer on income inequality both within and among nations deserves to be read by both occupiers and occupants of Wall Street."--Publishers Weekly

"Globalization has unleashed powerful forces: some wonderful, some worrying. This book can take you beyond the cliches to an understanding of what is going on and what can be done about it."--Sir Paul Collier, Prospect

"Readers wanting a map of the terrain should read Bourguignon. . . . Inequality is an important and complex subject. On the biggest issue of all--global inequality--the recent news has been good. The story on inequality within countries is less appealing, however. [The Globalization of Inequality] tells this complex story well."--Martin Wolf, Financial Times

"This book is written in calm prose, but its message is urgent: continue as we are and poverty will grow on our doorsteps."--Danny Dorling, Times Higher Education

"Recommended for readers seeking a brief, less technical introduction to economic inequality within and among nations."--Library Journal

"Bourguignon carefully wends his way among the definitions of inequality and its multiple, sometimes conflicting measures. . . . This book is written for the layman but is nonetheless intellectually rigorous. It sets out the causes of and some remedies for a problem that urgently needs to be solved if we are to avoid what the book's title warns against, the globalization of inequality."--Brenda Jubin, Seeking Alpha

"[Bourguignon's] compact book takes readers through most of the suspected causes and possible cures for what he and many believe is a destructive phenomenon. . . . Now that this French academic's thoughts will be reaching an English-language audience, his translators may have little time to rest. Inequality is nearly everywhere. Certainly the world's politicians will continue to need such bedtime reading."--Tim Ferguson,

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Table of Contents:

Foreword to the English Edition vii
Introduction: Globalization and Inequality 1
Chapter 1 Global Inequality 9
Appendix to Chapter 1 Detailed Evidence on the Recent Changes in Global Inequality 41
Chapter 2 Are Countries Becoming More Unequal? 47
Chapter 3 Globalization and the Forces behind the Rise in Inequality 74
Chapter 4 Toward a Fair Globalization: Prospects and Principles 117
Chapter 5 Which Policies for a Fairer Globalization? 146
Conclusion Globalizing Equality? 184
Index 191

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