The Price of Inequality

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Penguin Books Limited, Jun 28, 2012 - Social Science - 592 pages

Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz explains why we are experiencing such destructively high levels of inequality - and why this is not inevitable

The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn't seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn - too late.

In this timely book, Joseph Stiglitz identifies three major causes of our predicament: that markets don't work the way they are supposed to (being neither efficient nor stable); how political systems fail to correct the shortcomings of the market; and how our current economic and political systems are fundamentally unfair. He focuses chiefly on the gross inequality to which these systems give rise, but also explains how inextricably interlinked they are. Providing evidence that investment - not austerity - is vital for productivity, and offering realistic solutions for levelling the playing field and increasing social mobility, Stiglitz argues that reform of our economic and political systems is not just fairer, but is the only way to make markets work as they really should.

Joseph Stiglitz was Chief Economist at the World Bank until January 2000. He is currently University Professor of the Columbia Business School and Chair of the Management Board and Director of Graduate Summer Programs, Brooks World Poverty Institute, University of Manchester. He won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001 and is the best-selling author of Globalization and Its Discontents, The Roaring Nineties, Making Globalization Work and Freefall, all published by Penguin.

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About the author (2012)

Joseph E. Stiglitz was Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers 1995-7 and Chief Economist at the World Bank 1997-2000. He is currently University Professor at Columbia University, teaching in the Department of Economics, the School of International and Public Affairs, and the Graduate School of Business. He is also the Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute and a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society and the British Academy. He won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001 and is the bestselling author of Globalization and Its Discontents, The Roaring Nineties, Making Globalization Work, Freefall, The Price of Inequality and The Great Divide, all published by Penguin.