Inequality and instability : a study of the world economy just before the Great Crisis / James K. Galbraith.

by Galbraith, James KLooking glass.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press, 2012.Description: xiv, 324 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.ISBN: 019985565X; 9780199855650.Subject(s): Economic developmentLooking glass | Economic policyLooking glass | Global Financial Crisis, 2008-2009Looking glass | Globalization -- Social aspectsLooking glass | Income distributionLooking glass | Power (Social sciences)Looking glassNote: Includes bibliographical references (pages 295-307) and index.
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Long loan London College of Communication
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In the press, at the Capitol, on Wall Street and around the world, people are waking up to the dangers of inequality as never before. Mainstream journalists now note that income inequality in America today is greater than at any time since 1929 - just before the Great Depression. Perhaps thisis not accidental.Where does inequality come from? And how does it lead to economic instability?In Inequality and Instability, leading economist James K. Galbraith demonstrates that finance is the driver converting inequality into instability. Those without money - made more numerous by inequality - find little recourse but to the ancient remedy of the loan. Their urges and needs, for bad andfor good, are abetted by the aggressive desire of those with money to lend. But if the balloon of debt explodes, as it did in 2008, it disrupts an entire economy built upon a financial house of cards. And not merely in the United States: debt crises and economic instability can be linked toinequality all around the world.To support this conclusion, Galbraith marshals the data as never before, examining it in light of geography, economic change, and politics. For example, the dramatic rise of inequality in the United States in the 1990s correlated with the information-technology boom, whose wealth was concentrated injust three counties of Northern California, the Seattle area, and Manhattan. As for what drives this inequality, he writes, we need look no further than the capital markets - since those at the top have benefited not simply from salaries and bonuses, but increasingly from stock options, assetvaluations, and capital gains.A landmark work of research and original insight, Inequality and Instability will change forever the way we understand this pivotal topic.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 295-307) and index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Acknowledgments (p. xiii)
  • Chapter 1 The Physics and Ethics of Inequality (p. 3)
  • The Simple Physics of Inequality Measurement (p. 9)
  • The Ethical Implications of Inequality Measures (p. 13)
  • Plan of the Book (p. 14)
  • Chapter 2 The Need for New Inequality Measures (p. 20)
  • The Data Problem in Inequality Studies (p. 20)
  • Obtaining Dense and Consistent Inequality Measures (p. 29)
  • Grouping Up and Grouping Down (p. 36)
  • Conclusion (p. 43)
  • Chapter 3 Pay Inequality and World Development (p. 47)
  • What Kuznets Meant (p. 47)
  • New Data for a new look At Kuznets's Hypothesis (p. 50)
  • Pay Inequality and National Income: What's the Shape of the Curve? (p. 62)
  • Global Rising Inequality: The Soros Superbubble as a Pattern in the Data (p. 69)
  • Conclusion (p. 73)
  • Appendix: On a Presumed Link From Inequality to Growth (p. 74)
  • Chapter 4 Estimating the Inequality of Household Incomes (p. 81)
  • Estimating the Relationship Between Inequalities of Pay and Income (p. 82)
  • Finding the problem cases: A study of residuals (p. 87)
  • Building a Deep and Balanced Income Inequality Dataset (p. 91)
  • Conclusion (p. 96)
  • Chapter 5 Economic Inequality and Political Regimes (p. 100)
  • Democracy and Inequality in Political Science (p. 101)
  • A Different Approach to Political Regime Types (p. 105)
  • Analysis and Results (p. 107)
  • Conclusion (p. 113)
  • Appendix I Political Regime Data Description (p. 113)
  • Appendix II Results Using Other Political Classification Schemes (p. 118)
  • Chapter 6 The Geography of Inequality in America, 1969 to 2007 (p. 124)
  • Between-Industry Earnings Inequality in the United States (p. 128)
  • The Changing Geography of American Income Inequality (p. 140)
  • Interpreting Inequality in the United States (p. 146)
  • Conclusion (p. 148)
  • Chapter 7 State-Level Income Inequality and American Elections (p. 152)
  • Some Initial Models Using Off-the-Shelf Data for the 2000 Election (p. 155)
  • New Estimates of State-Level Inequality and an Analysis of the Inequality-Elections Relationship Over Time (p. 158)
  • Inequality and the Income Paradox in Voting (p. 162)
  • Conclusion (p. 164)
  • Chapter 8 Inequality and Unemployment in Europe: A Question of Levels (p. 165)
  • An Inequality-Based Theory of Unemployment (p. 167)
  • Region-Based Evidence on Inequality and Unemployment (p. 170)
  • Inequality and Unemployment in Europe and America (p. 179)
  • Implications for Unemployment Policy in Europe (p. 181)
  • Appendix: Detailed Results and Sensitivity Analyses (p. 183)
  • Chapter 9 European Wages and the Flexibility Thesis (p. 198)
  • The Problem of Unemployment in Europe: A Reprise (p. 201)
  • Assessing Wage Flexibility Across Europe (p. 203)
  • Clustering and Discriminating to Simplify the Picture (p. 206)
  • Conclusion (p. 213)
  • Appendix I Cluster Details (p. 214)
  • Appendix II Eigenvalues and Canonical Correlations (p. 224)
  • Appendix III Correlations Between Canonical Scores and Pseudoscores (p. 225)
  • Chapter 10 Globalization and Inequality in China (p. 235)
  • The Evolution of Inequality in China Through 2007 (p. 236)
  • Finance and the Export Boom, 2002 to 2006 (p. 240)
  • Trade and Capital Inflow (p. 244)
  • Profit and Capital Flows into Speculative Sectors (p. 247)
  • Conclusion (p. 249)
  • Chapter 11 Finance and Power in Argentina and Brazil (p. 252)
  • The Modern Political Economy of Argentina and Brazil (p. 253)
  • Measuring Inequality (p. 254)
  • Sources of Data (p. 256)
  • Pay Inequality in Argentina, 1994-2007 (p. 256)
  • Pay Inequality in Brazil, 1996-2007 (p. 261)
  • Conclusion (p. 265)
  • Chapter 12 Inequality in Cuba after the Soviet Collapse (p. 269)
  • Data on Pay in Cuba (p. 271)
  • Evolution of the Cuban Economy, 1991-2005 (p. 272)
  • Pay Inequality By Sector (p. 279)
  • Pay Inequality by Region (p. 285)
  • Conclusion (p. 286)
  • Chapter 13 Economic Inequality and the World Crisis (p. 289)
  • References (p. 295)
  • Index (p. 309)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Economic inequality, as measured in the form of incomes, is the focus of this timely study. Galbraith (Univ. of Texas, Austin) traces the measurement of inequality and its impact on economic development and politics, and profiles country inequality, including the US, Europe, China, Russia, and Brazil. In the period leading up to the global financial crisis, income inequality had already risen significantly in various countries for different reasons. In the US, this could be attributed to many factors, e.g., global redistribution of production in merchandise. Whatever the causes, data presented reveal results were turbocharged in the 1990s and 2000s with the remarkable rise of finance, financial innovation, and the high compensation of those in the financial services industry and senior management more generally, which produced a disconnect between senior management compensation and that of the rest of the workforce. Worse, effective lobbying, board-sanctioned tax gross-ups, and exploitation of loopholes produced amazingly low taxation in many cases, while the financial bailouts starting in 2008 socialized key risks that emanated from the privatization of returns. All of this raises questions about how well capitalism works as a tool for social welfare, and how the 99 percent can effect reversal of this apparent overshooting. Excellent charts and graphs. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic and research collections. I. Walter New York University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

James K. Galbraith is the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations and Professor of Government at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. He is the author most recently of The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too