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We’ve long known there is a strong correlation between growing up in poverty and low academic achievement. Thus, for example, children living in poverty tend to have lower scores on standardized tests, lower grades, and are less likely to graduate from high school or go on to college. Now we’re learning that that there is a correlation between poverty […]

In Brazil and around the world, sensationalist front-page headlines have focused on the links between the Zika virus and microcephaly, sexual transmission, and the coming pandemic. Or, as Wilson Roberto Vieira Ferreira explains, the media have once again manipulated the themes of birth, sex, and death—”the most striking (and socially disciplined) features of human existence.” What is […]

I’ve considered lots of different dimensions of inequality on this blog, including the fact that inequality kills. But, I’ll admit, I have never considered the unequal impact of car crashes on the nation’s roads. As Emily Badger and Christopher Ingraham explain, Traffic fatalities in the United States have been plummeting for years, a major victory for […]

Harry G. Frankfurt (the author of, among other books, On Bullshit) attempts to argue that we aren’t, or at least shouldn’t be, concerned about inequality. I suspect that people who profess to have this intuition are actually not responding to the inequality they perceive but to another feature of the situation they are observing. What […]

While mainstream economists continue to discuss and debate their favorite topics—when to hike interest rates, the appropriate measure of capital, how to apply monetary rules, the outcome of debt negotiations in Europe, and much else—they never mention one obvious fact: capitalism kills. In particular, it kills babies and middle-aged people. According to Alice Chen, Emily Oster, […]

Tyler Cowen may just be right about one thing: people’s views of inequality seem to be changing. “I view opinion as in flux,” Mr. Cowen said. “I find that fewer and fewer people, especially outside of academia, accept the skill-biased technical change story and more and more look to politics, privilege, rent-seeking and the like.” […]

  It’s clear we are in the midst of an acute period of inequality: not only of grotesque levels of economic inequality (which are now well documented) but also of a wide-ranging discussion of the conditions and consequences of that extreme inequality (which appears to be taking off). There are, of course, the deniers, like my […]

Pope Francis challenged the theory of trickledown economics. Now, President Obama has announced his intention to focus on the problem of inequality. On my reading, Obama’s speech borrows heavily from the ideas in Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson’s Winner-Take-All Society and Joseph Stiglitz’s The Price of Inequality. Both the best and the worst parts. The […]

The other day, I posted a few paragraphs from the new Roman Catholic Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (which translates as “The Joy of the Gospel”). I’ve now had a chance to read the entire text (available here), which seems to have gotten some notice around the world (although, best I can tell, there’s […]

Timothy Noah has one story about inequality. Mine, I think, is a bit different. According to Noah’s story, while conservatives mostly deny the existence of inequality, liberals tend to focus on the gap between the 1 percent and everyone else and forget about the skills-based gap between those with a college education and those without. […]