Why Inequality is Rising in Advanced Economies, and How Policies Make a Difference

Lucas Chancel (Paris School of Economics)

Economic inequality is on the rise after a historic decline, and the trend is especially dramatic in the United States, according to Lucas Chancel, codirector of the World Inequality Lab and of the World Inequality Database (WID) at the Paris School of Economics. In a presentation at the conference on “Combating Inequality” at the Peterson Institute for International Economics on October 17–18, 2019, Chancel outlines basic facts about inequality, including how Americans are now much less likely to earn more than their parents, gender inequality has improved but remains high, and why policies determine levels of inequality in a country more than exposure to trade and technological advances. Chancel emphasizes the roles of progressive taxation, and financing education and health care in curbing extreme inequality.