Problems With Measuring Inequality

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down. Economists often talk about income inequality the same way a doctor would talk about a child’s height. Just as a doctor would say “Sylvia continues to grow taller”, economists say things like “US income inequality continues to grow”. (Full disclosure, I’m sure I’ve said similar things). On Continue Reading

Are We Measuring Inequality the Wrong Way?

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down. In a recent blog post called “How Not to Measure Inequality”, the anthropologist Jason Hickel argues that economists measure inequality the wrong way. Hickel thinks that standard measures of inequality (such as the Gini index), underestimate global disparities. The problem, according to Hickel, is that economists measure Continue Reading

Markets and Inequality

In the August 16 issue of The Financial Times, popularizing economics writer Tim Harford joined the chorus of voices raising the issue of income inequality. He asked whether or not we should care that the income gap is widening. He suggested there are two reasons we might care: process and outcome. On the process, Harford Continue Reading