The Welfare State, Economic Equity, and Economic Growth
Run by Chalem Bolton of the University of Michigan, this group explores the relationship between economic equity and growth and how it is influenced by redistributive policies. Growth and equity are often thought of as opponents to one another: some level of inequality is necessary to promote economic growth that makes everyone better off. Many progressive thinkers reject this characterization, but I don't think they often explore ways growth and equality may actually benefit each other. Approaching these ideas from a problem-solving perspective has the potential to generate new sociological research questions and contribute to solutions to problems of inequality and economic stagnation.
The group will focus on wealth inequality over its four scheduled meetings of Fall 2021. We will read recent research on the topic and discuss what the problem with wealth inequality is over the first two meetings. We'll read analyses of policy proposals intended to reduce wealth inequality in the US during the final two. The primary focus of readings specific to the US is the enduring problem of racial wealth inequality and what progress on solving it contemporary proposals have the potential to make.
Please contact Chalem Bolton (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to be added to the group's listserv and calendar invites or if you need the Zoom link for a meeting.
Fall 2021 Details and Schedule
Day and time: Select Thursdays 2-3pm EST (1-2PM CT)
Zoom link: contact Chalem or see calendar invite
September 30th (9/30)
Pfeffer, Fabian T., and Nora Waitkus. 2021. “The Wealth Inequality of Nations.” American Sociological Review 86(4):567–602. (preprint link)
October 21st, (10/21)
Thompson, Jeffrey P., and Gustavo A. Suarez .2015. “Updating the Racial Wealth Gap,” Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-076. Washington: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. (link)
November 18th, (11/18)
Zewde, Naomi. 2020. “Universal Baby Bonds Reduce Black-White Wealth Inequality, Progressively Raise Net Worth of All Young Adults.” Review of Black Political Economy 47(1):3–19. (open-access link, commentary)
Mitchell, Lia, and Aron Szapiro. 2020. Income-Based Program Designs Show Promise for Closing the Racial Wealth Gap. (link)
December 9th, (12/9)
Eaton, Charlie, Adam Goldstein, Laura Hamilton, and Frederick Wherry. 2021. Student Debt Cancellation IS Progressive: Correcting Empirical and Conceptual Errors. (link)
Looney, Adam, David Wessel, and Kadija Yilla. 2020. Who Owes All That Student Debt? And Who’d Benefit If It Were All Forgiven? (link)