Max Weber Lecture by Francois Bourguignon, 16 January 2013 at 17.00, Villa La Fonte, Conference Room

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Ecole d'Economie de Paris“The Globalization of Inequality”


Is globalization responsible for the unexpected present increase in inequality in the world? Could it wreck all hopes for more equity and social justice? Actually, globalization had two opposite effects. On the one hand, it contributed to diminishing global inequality, thanks to the growth performances of emerging countries. The gap between the standard of living in China, India or Brazil and that of the United States has indeed dropped substantially. In less than two decades, 500 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty. But, on the other hand, inequality surged in a number of countries, after a long period of stability, feeding the sense that our societies are increasingly unfair and raising social tensions of which los indignados and Occuppy Wall Street are symptomatic.

This presentation examines various elements of this paradoxical opposition between rising national and declining global inequality as well as some instruments in the hands of policy makers to control it. Global development must indeed keep making standards of living closer across countries. But progress will be effective and sustainable only if it obeys basic equity principles within nations.

The speaker will be introduced by Giorgia Giovannetti, RSCAS and the session chaired by Emilie Caldeira, MWP.

All are welcome to attend the lecture, for organizational purposes please register with [email protected]

About the Speaker:
Francois Bourguignon is the Director of the newly created Paris School of Economics of development, public policy, income distribution and inequality. Bourguignon is also active in the international development community, lecturing and writing report for international agencies