This course examines the politics of income distribution and redistribution in the United States and other post-industrial democracies. Through a mix of lectures, in-class discussions of assigned readings and targeted assignments, students will learn how economic and political actors, institutions and ideology interact to create varying levels of economic inequality. This course is ideal for people interested in examining the political causes and consequences of economic inequality as well as learning about inequality and redistribution in countries beyond the United States. For example, we will discuss why, in most post-industrial democracies, labor income and wealth have become more unequal over time and why this trend is worse in some countries than in others. We will also examine the reasons why some countries redistribute income more than others. Students who take this course will have a better understanding of the long-term factors affecting the likelihood of an egalitarian policy response to rising inequality.
Topics: Political Economy of Inequality and Redistribution