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Inequality and Instability: A Study of the World Economy Just Before the Great Crisis (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 3. Mai 2012

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen


"Inequality is at the heart of our modern economic predicament, but its kaleidoscopic nature makes it as hard to summarize as it is to understand. In this important book, Jamie Galbraith and colleagues develop a powerful new measure of global inequality trends and show how it can be used to shed new light on everything from economic growth to voter turnout. The result is a truly pathbreaking work of scholarship."--Barry Eichengreen, author of Exorbitant Privilege


"In Inequality and Instability, James K. Galbraith brings to bear his considerable experience in government and academia to examine one of the most pressing issues of our time. In this accessible and far-reaching volume, he investigates not only the depth and breadth of inequality in Europe, America, and elsewhere, but also its implications for politics and society. It's no surprise that Galbraith, who is well known for having pioneered new understandings of economic inequality, leaves no stone unturned in his discussion of metrics and methodologies...It is a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand our political and economic era."--Joseph E. Stiglitz, author of Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics


"The most comprehensive examination to date of the connection between the financial sector, the Achilles heel of 'free enterprise' economies, and income inequality across countries. Galbraith and his fellow researchers at the University of Texas Inequality Project demonstrate how the seeds of the current economic crisis were sown by the refusal to confront and reverse an unequalizing worldwide spiral of income disparity. This could be the empirical Bible for the Occupy movement."--William Darity, Arts and Sciences Professor of Public Policy, Economics, and African American Studies, Duke University


"While most economists 'slept' and some were busying themselves making sure there is no level playing fie


"[P]otentially groundbreaking new methodology . . . Galbraith discredits a number of shibboleths of the economics profession. . . . In this rich study, the author brings both transparency and a fresh approach to a profession where a shake-up seems more than overdue. Economics specialists will enjoy this book, but so too will general readers disenchanted with current economic orthodoxies." --Kirkus Reviews


"In Inequality and Instability, James K. Galbraith brings to bear his considerable experience in government and academia to examine one of the most pressing issues of our time. In this accessible and far-reaching volume, he investigates not only the depth and breadth of inequality in Europe, America, and elsewhere, but also its implications for politics and society. It's no surprise that Galbraith, who is well known for having pioneered new understandings of economic inequality, leaves no stone unturned in his discussion of metrics and methodologies...It is a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand our political and economic era."--Joseph E. Stiglitz, author of Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics


"Inequality is at the heart of our modern economic predicament, but its kaleidoscopic nature makes it as hard to summarize as it is to understand. In this important book, Jamie Galbraith and colleagues develop a powerful new measure of global inequality trends and show how it can be used to shed new light on everything from economic growth to voter turnout. The result is a truly pathbreaking work of scholarship."--Barry Eichengreen, author of Exorbitant Privilege


"While most economists 'slept' and some were busying themselves making sure there is no level playing field, Jamie Galbraith was one of the few who kept on insisting on the dangers of runaway inequality, financial-sector driven growth and crony capitalism. In this book, he takes the reader on a journey through the years that preceded the financial meltdown, skillfully links inequality and macroeconomics, and, after showing the why and the how of the crisis, points the way out of it." --Branko Milanovic, author of Worlds Apart: Measuring International and Global Inequality


"Based on a mountain of new data, this book undermines much of what scholars thought they knew about economic inequality. James Galbraith's readable and compelling dissections of how financial bubbles and macroeconomic forces shape inequality and its effects on society and the state are seminal. Inequality and Instability is a work not just for scholars, but for citizens." --Thomas Ferguson, Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Boston


"The most comprehensive examination to date of the connection between the financial sector, the Achilles heel of 'free enterprise' economies, and income inequality across countries. Galbraith and his fellow researchers at the University of Texas Inequality Project demonstrate how the seeds of the current economic crisis were sown by the refusal to confront and reverse an unequalizing worldwide spiral of income disparity. This could be the empirical Bible for the Occupy movement."--William Darity, Arts and Sciences Professor of Public Policy, Economics, and African American Studies, Duke University


"Galbraith's timely and provocative book adds some economic and statistical ballast to the vague rhetorical slogans of the Occupy protesters. Drawing on meticulous academic research, it argues that the main source of the growing inequality across the world in recent years has been not industrial change, educational reform, or geopolitical shift but the financialization of the modern world." --Foreign Affairs


"Galbraith's book presents an extremely varied and nutritious fare for all of those who want to find out more about the things that they 'were afraid to ask' during the last twenty years: why did inequality increase so much and who benefited from it? But Galbraith did notice the increase, wrote about it, and here in a sort of collected works, are his essays, fully vindicated by time. Not many economists can say so." --Journal of Economic Literature


Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende


James K. Galbraith is professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations. He is a leading economist whose books include The Predator State, Inequality and Industrial Change, and Created Unequal.


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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Ein wichtiger und richtungsweisender Ansatz, der gerade in der EURO-Krise heftig zum Nachdenken anregt. Das Buch erfordert allerdings etwas statistisches und mathematischer Verständnis, es liest sich nicht "einfach so weg". Aber die Mühe wird reich belohnt! Leider sind die Graphiken aus Kostengründen vom Verlag in b/w gesetzt und damit kaum lesbar.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 von 5 Sternen 13 Rezensionen
76 von 77 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Revolutionary 19. April 2012
Von Hans G. Despain - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
James Galbraith deserves the Nobel Prize in Economics for his several decades of work on economic inequality. _Inequality and Instability_ attempts to summarize, synthesis, and further develop this phenomenal research. Galbraith has redefined the study of economic inequality; for Galbraith inequality is not merely an ethical issue, but inequality radically determines a society's level of unemployment, growth and development, and frequency and depth of economic crises.

Galbraith's research argues and convincingly demonstrates inequality largely determines (1) the relative stability of a macroeconomy, (2) market economies generate inequality, and inequality destabilizes the economic system, i.e. generates economic crises, (3) the primary industry responsible for inequality is finance and the institutional structure of finance within a society, this implies (4) technology is not the primary cause of inequality, nor even a significant cause of inequality at a national level, and (5) outsourcing and international competition has not been a significant cause of inequality, instead (6) macroeconomic policy (both monetary and fiscal, but more accurately especially monetary policy, but also fiscal policy determine the degree of inequality and inequality determines the level of stability or instability of an economy) and political ideology, i.e. political economy radically determine the degree of inequality.

Now for the less happy analysis.

In a three sentence evaluation of the book, Nobel Prize winner economist Joseph E. Stiglitz writes: "In _Inequality and Instability_, James K. Galbraith examines one the most pressing issues of our time. In this accessible and far-reaching volume he investigates not only the depth and breadth of inequality in Europe, America, and elsewhere, but also its implications for politics and society. It is a must-read, for anyone who wishes to understand our political and economic era."

I fully endorse the first and third sentences. Indeed, I fully endorse the second sentence, save one single word, i.e. accessible. If you are a Ph.D., or a Ph.D. student, this book is accessible. Moreover, if you have a mentor or you are in an upper division undergraduate college economic course with an instructor to explain regression equations, Theil statistics, Gini coefficients, etc. this book will be accessible. However, if you are unacquainted with these phenomena, this book will be less then accessible.

Nonetheless, this book is too important to be ignored by a popular audience, every engaged citizen should absorb the basic argument. I have a suggestion. First, pick up a copy of Galbraith's _Predator State_ (2006), and read chapter 7, titled "What the Rise of Inequality is Really About", as a preface to _Inequality and Instability_. Second, read an abridged version of _Inequality and Instability_, before attempting to tackle the entire book. My suggested abridged version (for an U.S. audience) is, chapter 1, pp. 47-50 of chapter 3, (and possibly pp. 50-62 of chapter 3), then chapters 6, 7 and 13.

What will be learned can be summarized as follows:

(1) Inequality generates unemployment, and unemployment generates inequality, this I dub `Galbraith's Law.' Unemployment was not much of a problem post-Reagan (post-1984-5), but inequality has been on the rise. What Galbraith's Law suggests is if inequality is on the rise, unemployment is to follow. This is what happened in 2007-8, inequality destabilized the economy, a crisis manifested, and generated unemployment. Since the Great Recession of 2007-8, the Obama administration has failed to address inequality; consequently Galbraith's Law suggests the "Jobless recovery" will continue until inequality is reduced.

(2) The financial industry, and its regulation or lack of regulation, is the primary determinant of the degree of inequality in an economy.

(3) The level of inequality radically determines the stability (low inequality) and instability (high inequality) of a macroeconomy.

(4) Economic policy can reduce or increase inequality in a society. Because of the importance of finance, monetary policy and interest rate changes can be argued to be the most important policy as both culprit and mediator of inequality.

(5) Although free-market labor market and wage policy does not necessarily cause severe income inequality, progressive labor market and wage policy is important policy to combat income inequality caused by the functioning (and dysfunction) of the financial industry which generates income inequality.
7 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Very interesting 13. August 2012
Von George Hariton - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Research on income inequality has been plagued by a lack of good data on inequality within countries. The World Bank put together a data base in 1996 (updated and extended since), based on surveys in various countries, but the data are sparse and seldom really comparable. The University of Texas Inequality Program (UTIP) has built a new data base which they hope is better. This book is a description of that new data base (the first third of the book). As well it describes uses of the data base to explore voting patterns and other political impacts of inequality (most of the second third of the book) and some economic consequences of inequality (the rest of the book).

UTIP uses inequality in manufacturing wages (i.e. pay rates in the manufacturing sector) as a proxy for income inequality. If the proxy is good enough, that vastly improves the quality of the data, and so the range of questions that can be addressed. Galbraith spends Chapters 2 and 3 arguing that the proxy is good enough -- that manufacturing wage disparities do reflect income disparities closely enough for his analyses.

The rest of the book depends on whether the reader accepts these assertions or not. The problem, of course, is that the services sector is changing very rapidly, and any inferences from manufacturing to services may quickly be out of date. In any case, even the numerical analyses that Galbraith presents are not very convincing. For example, he uses the UTIP data to replicate the World Bank data. While the correspondence is good, it is not very good. (He fits a linear regression and gets R-square statistics of about 0.6, i.e. the UTIP data explains about 60% of the World Bank data.) While that is good enough to show that the two measures are related, I don't think that it is good enough for the applications later in the book. But then Galbraith says that the World Bank data are flawed anyway, so the point of the comparison is lost on me.

Anyway, if one accepts use of UTIP data, a few interesting conclusions followe. For example, while individual European countries show less income inequality than the U.S., Europe taken as a single entity shows more income inequality. Given Europe's higher unemployment rates (at least until recently) that suggests that greater income inequality correlates with greater unemployment, not the reverse. (I note that Galbraith isn't always careful to distinguish correlation and causation. His results fall far short of showing that inequality causes unemployment -- the causation could run the other way, or a third factor might be at play).

Another very interesting result is that global factors, including international financial credit, securities markets and so on, account for almost all the changes in inequality. Economic institutions also atre important. But that leaves very little scope for political interventions or indeed for a government role. Or at least that's how I read the last third of the book.

A comment on the book's accessibility: I found the book very readable. Yes, there are a few equations, but the reader can skip over those with no loss. Yes, there are some regression analyses, but their results are described in words in the text, so they can be skipped too. Galbraith is a good writer, and if you skip the tables, what he has to say flows nicely.
11 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Overly Technical - 28. Mai 2012
Von Loyd Eskildson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Galbraith's book is chock full of esoteric equations and explanations built up over 15-some years, definitely not light reading, undoubtedly intended for serious econometricians only. It presents evidence that the rise of inequality mirrors the stock market in the U.S. and the rise of finance and free-market policies elsewhere. The data purport to show that more equal societies enjoy lower unemployment.

Galbraith has concluded from his research that waht has driven rising inequalities of income in the U.S. has been rising stock prices, asset valuations, and income drawn from stock option realizations, as well as wages and salaries paid in sectors financed by new equity. (Think Instagram, acquired after about seven years' of their work for $1 billion, and with only 27 employees.) These incomes at the very top were highly concentrated into 15 counties, and five in particular - the NYC area, three associated with Silicon Valley, and King Co. Washington. States with higher levels of inequality tend to have lower voter turnout rates - consistent with the idea the wealthier voters have a strong interest in restricting access to voting by poor people. (Yet, none of Galbraith's examples of the highest income counties - California, New York, and Washington, do so.)

Within Europe, Galbraith reports that countries with less pay inequality systematically enjoy less unemployment, other things being equal. He also asserts that Europe overall has more income inequality than the U.S., something that does not fit with my understanding that the U.S. and China lead in this dimension. Continuing, Galbraith tells us there is strong evidence that inequality rose through most of the world during globalization, and that recent winning sectors in the U.S. have not generated many jobs - (eg. Facebook's initial $100 billion valuation is linked to only 3,200 jobs).
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A must for decision makers 4. Mai 2013
Von Luis Maldonado Lince - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Decision makers , policy designers and strategists of all sorts should read James Galbraiths book. Reproducing the pre-crisis conditions, via faulty policies and strategies, will only lead the world economy to the begining of the same tragis vicious circle. A must read without doubt.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen It's not as simple as some would argue... 6. Januar 2014
Von David Last - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Inequality is one of the major themes in Galbraith's work, as in his father's. In this fairly dense tome, he provides a pretty convincing description of the empirical relationship between the bubbles of concentrated wealth that are chasing better returns, and the tendency of the bubbles to burst, causing economic crises. But there’s a lot more to this. His Ch. 5, on economic inequality and political regimes, is a much more globally comparative take than Bartels (2008) focused only on the US. While Bartels is clear about the widening gap under Republicans, Galbraith is more circumspect. In general social democracies and democracies are associated with lower inequality, using UTIP-UNIDO data, but a narrower range of more complete data is less conclusive. Other political classification schemes are more contradictory still: the Chibub-Ghandi index shows democracy associated with lower inequality, but the Polity/Freedom House and World Bank indices show democracy significantly related to greater inequality. Galbraith concludes that economists need to redefine the nature of inequality in order to study it more effectively. Inequality is largely driven by financial factors, rather than wages, productivity or non-investment income. The 1980-2006 super-bubble had a disproportionate impact on poor countries and poor people, as a direct consequence of aggressive high interest rate policies. National experiences tend to parallel global statistics on concentration of wealth and inequality. The ability or willingness of market states to affect inequality is limited, and there aren’t many alternatives (communism has all but disappeared and Islamic republics aren’t mature systems). In social democracies (mainly Northern Europe), it is economic structures rather than political systems that preserve equality. More egalitarian states tend to have lower unemployment, discrediting advocates of ‘labour market flexibility’. There’s a neat connection to Morton Jerven’s Poor Numbers, at a more general level: “The mysteries and puzzles in the literature do owe something to the desire, often noted among economists to cling to a point favoured by prior theory, but they also owe a great deal to the efforts of researchers, operating in perfect good faith, to draw more information from inadequate records than those records are willing or able to disgorge.”

Perhaps the reason that Galbraith sounds like a voice crying in the wilderness lies in sponsorship of mainstream economics; there’s a wonderful scene at the end of the movie “inside job” in which advocates of free-market laissez-faire are asked why they didn’t disclose sponsorship by major financial institutions and banks; they didn’t see it as relevant.
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