A Bigger (Thanksgiving) Pie or Equal Slices?

Increasing income inequality by moving from communal farming to individual plots, Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford changed income redistribution.

What Golf in China Shows About Economic Development

On a ladder of spending in developing economies, growing affluence first means wheat and meat. Then, climbing somewhat higher, people can afford consumer durables like a washing machine and a car. On a Chinese spending ladder, we could add golf. But it is a…

The Income Inequality That Doesn't Bother Us

When people talk about the top 1%, they are probably not thinking about NY Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter or Seattle’s MLS forward, Clint Dempsey. For 2014, Jeter signed a $12 million contract and Dempsey makes close to $5 million. However, they all take us to income inequality. Using…

How to Defend or Oppose Thomas Piketty

Summarizing Thomas Piketty’s voluminous research in his new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” the NY Times said that looking back, we have overstated the beneficence of capitalism and looking forward, gross income inequality is our destiny unless policies radically change.…

Income Inequality Questions

Seeing economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty’s favorite graph of the year at Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog, I thought of Benoit Mandelbrot. The father of fractal geometry, Dr. Mandelbrot told us that the closer you look, the more you see. From a…

One Reason to Support the Downton Abbey Law

Our Monday feminism blog: When the Titanic went down with the Earl of Grantham’s heirs, his daughters Edith, Mary and Sybil came no closer to inheriting Downton Abbey. With primogeniture the law, a male relative, no matter how distant, would…

More Thanksgiving Economics

Our annual Thanksgiving post: In 1623, 2 years after the first Thanksgiving, Governor William Bradford was worried about Plymouth’s food supply. The problem, he concluded, was that people shared whatever they produced. Because they expected “able and fit” young men…

Income Inequality: A Global Look

Please for a moment, think of yourself as a citizen of the world who is looking at income inequality. According to World Bank scholars, you should first identify your approach. 1. You could just create 3 baskets for countries, the poor,…

Income Inequality: Food History

After reading Tom Standage’s An Edible History of Humanity, we can see the connection between food and income inequality and the surprising significance of the pineapple. First, some history… Ancient hunter-gatherer groups had to be egalitarian. With sharing the best way to…

Pizza Economics: The Life of a Pie

Pizza economics could provide good case study potential for looking at income inequality, a creative workplace, and (from Saturday Night Live) starting a small business. Income Inequality: In Williamsburg Brooklyn, you can buy pizza made by a chef who graduated from…