Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Praise for Branko Milanovic's "The Haves and Have Nots"

Milanovic has a book coming out, another one on inequality. 

But he was writing about inequality before Piketty made it cool.

I read his blog posts because Thoma points them my way some time, but I thought before engaging with the more current work, I would read this one, intriguingly subtitled “A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality”. The book is set up as three essays that are more wonkish and each essay is filled with some more detailed stories to support the larger ideas behind the essays.

He looks at three different kinds of inequality – that between people in the same nation; that between individual nations; and that between all the world’s citizens. I think that as a popular book about economics it works very well. The vignettes are enough that they can be accessible to someone with little background and they do help explain the more technical aspects of the larger essays. I wish more scientists wrote with the skill Milanovic does here. I am eagerly awaiting that new book, but I’m glad I read up on the background info.