ENSAE Paris - École d'ingénieurs pour l'économie, la data science, la finance et l'actuariat

Economics of Inequality: Measures and Findings



Département : Economics


The objective of this course is to present recent – and less recent - work on income and wealth inequality with a focus on long run inequality and its determinants, lifetime inequality and intergenerational mobility. It intends to mix theoretical and empirical approaches. 


Economics of Inequality: Measures & Findings

This a first draft of the lecture, subject to further changes

1-      Introduction: Why do we care about inequality? Theoretical and empirical justifications

2-      Long-run trends in income inequality

3-      Determinants of labor income inequality 

4-      Redistribution: Labor supply theory and optimal redistribution

5-      Long-run trends in wealth inequality

6-      Determinants of wealth inequality

7-      Going beyond current (cross sectional) income inequality: lifetime income inequality and intergenerational mobility

8-      Concluding remarks


There is no textbook covering all the materials that will be studied during the lectures. Attendance to all the lectures is thus essential.  Selected readings will be later associated with each lecture. 

Some general but not compulsory readings are: 

A. B. Atkinson, Stiglitz J. (2015), “Lectures on Public Economics”, Princeton University Press, 2015

Alvaredo, F., Atkinson, A., T. Piketty, E. Saez, and G. Zucman (2018), “World Inequality Report”

Piketty, T. and E. Saez (2013), “Optimal Labor Income Taxation”, In A. J. Auerbach, R. Chetty, M. Feldstein, and E. Saez (Eds.), Handbook of Public Economics, Volume 5, pp. 391–474.

Kopczuk Wojciech (2013), “Taxation of intergenerational transfers and wealth”, in A. Auerbach, R. Chetty, M. Feldstein and E. Saez (Eds.)?, Handbook of Public Economics, Volume 5, pp 329–90.