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Winner of the Richard A. Lester Award for the Outstanding Book in Industrial Relations and Labor Economics, Princeton University
An Economist Best Economics and Business Book of the Year
A Financial Times Best Economics Book of the Year
Inequality is one of our most urgent social problems. Curbed in the decades after World War II, it has recently returned with a vengeance. We all know the scale of the problem—talk about the 99% and the 1% is entrenched in public debate—but there has been little discussion of what we can do but despair. According to the distinguished economist Anthony Atkinson, however, we can do much more than skeptics imagine.
“[Atkinson] sets forth a list of concrete, innovative, and persuasive proposals meant to show that alternatives still exist, that the battle for social progress and equality must reclaim its legitimacy, here and now... Witty, elegant, profound, this book should be read.”
—Thomas Piketty, New York Review of Books
“An uncomfortable affront to our reigning triumphalists. [Atkinson’s] premise is straightforward: inequality is not unavoidable, a fact of life like the weather, but the product of conscious human behavior.
—Owen Jones, The Guardian
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A Financial Times Book of the Year 2015
An Economist Book of the Year 2015
"Tony Atkinson has done more than anyone else in helping us to understand the meaning of inequality, why it is important, how it has changed over time, and how it can be influenced. He is one of the great scholars of our time." - Nicholas Stern, London School of Economics and Political Science
"Professor Anthony Atkinson is a pioneer of the study of the economics of poverty and inequality. His latest work, Inequality: What can be done?, is an uncomfortable affront to our reigning triumphalists. His premise is straightforward: inequality is not unavoidable, a fact of life like the weather, but the product of conscious human behaviour. [...] Atkinson identifies the usual culprits: globalisation, in which the wealthy can easily pick and choose nations most favourable to their bank balances; rapid technological change, which has stripped away middle-income secure jobs; the explosion of a rapacious financial sector; a shift in attitude to high pay; the hobbling of trade unions, once a formidable counterweight to wealth being sucked to the top; and the erosion of redistribution based on progressive taxation." --Owen Jones, Guardian
"his mastery of detail and comfort with costings mean that his proposals seem not only imaginative but also practically feasible. (This book has) strengthened a public movement that has put pressure on governments to tackle inequality. (Atkinson) deserves credit for contributing considerable intellectual resources to that important struggle." -- New Statesman
"Contemporary books on inequality are divided into those published BC [before Capital], or AP [after Piketty]. (...) Piketty's books sprawled over more than 600 pages [...] Wisely, Sir Anthony has chosen a more digestible approach; Inequality is quieter, shorter and more direct. (...) a crunchy book that analyses policy discussions in detail but avoids dullness, thanks to its unapologetic support for aggressive government intervention. (...) And if his arguments are not always wholly convincing, he may nonetheless succeed in shifting the debate." -- Economist
"In this new book, the doyen of inequality economics in the UK, Anthony Atkinson whose many students have included Piketty sets out what a real plan for reducing inequality would look like... Atkinson is a first-rate economist who long ago mastered the orthodoxy, and so is well placed to take it to bits. --Tom Clark, Guardian
"I finished Inequality: What Can Be Done? by Tony Atkinson, and think it s great. If you are only going to read one book on the subject, this is more useful than Piketty" - The Enlightened Economist blog
(An) important contribution ... Those who desire a thought- provoking guide to policy options in advanced countries should grapple with Atkinson s work... Atkinson provides a number of arguments for concern over rising inequality within rich countries... Inequality is an important and complex subject ... The book tells this complex story well. ...Atkinson's (book) offers the social democratic response. This debate is just beginning. It will become louder. -- Martin Wolf, Financial Times
"When a giant among UK economists such as Sir Tony Atkinson publishes a book in which he gives prescriptions based on the work of a lifetime, it deserves to be taken very seriously indeed. (The) work is rich in ideas and practical proposals. It is possible to disagree with large parts of his redistributive approach while still finding valuable new approaches and insights in every chapter." -- StandpointProduct Description:
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