InequaliTalks

InequaliTalks

What is the most unequal region of the world? How deep does gender discrimination run in our societies? What happens to poor households during a housing boom? How is land distributed today? How can minimum wage reduce racial inequality? Can we really expect politicians to fix inequality? InequaliTalks presents accessible research done by young economists on one of the most pressing issues in the public conversation: inequality. InequaliTalks is supported by School of Cities at the University of Toronto.

Episodes

July 21, 2021 18 min
Does inequality affect our perception of necessity and luxury? Does it change our preferences for certain goods? And if yes, what are the impact in terms of malnutruition? Eve Colson-Sihra talks about the research she conducted with Clément Bellet on the impact of exposure to inequality on the perceived needs of the poor in India. Paper: "Does Inequality Affect the Perception of Needs?" by Clément Bellet and Eve Colson-Sihr...
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Higher asthma rates are one of the more obvious ways that health inequalities between African American and other children are manifested beginning in early childhood. Diane Alexander talks about the research she conducted with Janet Currie on the impact of children's neighborhoods on the racial gap in respiratory diseases such as asthma. Paper: "Is it who you are or where you live? Residential segregation and racial gaps i...
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Does immigration import inequality? Felix Koenig talks about his recent research on the contribution of migrants to the rise in UK top incomes, showing that immigrants make up a much larger proportion of the top of the income range than of the bottom. Paper: “Importing Inequality: Immigration and the Top 1%” by Arun Advani, Felix Koenig, Lorenzo Pessina, Andrew Summers. http://ftp.iza.org/dp13731.pdf Recommendations: - "A Star...
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Local governments are essential providers of public goods and services utilized by Americans every day. Extreme weather events can threaten the stability of local revenue sources and the ability of municipalities to provide essential goods and services. Rhiannon Jerch talks about her research with Matthew E. Kahn & Gary Lin in which they study what happens to local public finances in the aftermath of hurricanes in the United St...
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People of color are drastically overrepresented in Massachusetts state prisons. What happens at different stages of the criminal system, from charging and bail to adjudication and sentencing? Felix Owusu presents the work he conducted with The Criminal Justice Policy Program at Harvard Law School to explore the factors that lead to persistent racial disparities in the Massachusetts criminal system. Paper: "Racial Disparities i...
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Progressive wealth taxes may be difficult to enforce if wealthy individuals underreport their wealth, but disclosure incentives and greater enforcement can improve tax collection. Juliana Londoño-Vélez presents her work with Javier Avila-Mahecha which uses rich administrative data from Colombia and leverages a government-designed program for voluntary disclosures of hidden wealth, as well as the threat of detection triggered by the...
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An (almost) unedited conversation with Thomas Piketty about his last book "Capital and Ideology" (2019). We talked about private property, slavery, colonialism, Haiti and arts. Book: "Capital and Ideology" by Thomas Piketty https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674980822 Recommendation: - "La voluntad y la fortuna" (2008) by Carlos Fuentes https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50254105-voluntad...
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The earnings difference between white and Black workers fell dramatically in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Claire Montialoux, in a paper with Ellora Derenoncourt, shows that the expansion of the minimum wage played a critical role in this decline. Recommendation: "The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America" by Richard Rothstein https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32...
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Does a person's gender influence the way we interpret information about his or her ability? Heather Sarsons tests this hypothesis in a unique setting using Medicare data on referrals from physicians to surgical specialists. She finds that the referring physicians view their patients' surgical outcomes differently depending on whether the surgeon is a man or a woman. Recommendations: - "Privilege: The Making of an Adole...
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Housing is the main asset in most individual portfolios. The recent rise in private wealth with respect to national income has been mainly driven by capital gains on housing. How do house price cycles affect wealth inequality? Clara Martínez-Toledano explores the dynamics of wealth accumulation over forty years in Spain. Recommendations: - "The Hidden Wealth of Nations" by Gabriel Zucman http://gabriel-zucman.eu/hidden-weal...
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STEM classes, especially computer science and engineering, are increasingly popular on college campuses, often because they are seen as offering better employment prospects and higher earnings. What happens to this early STEM pay premium in the long run? Kadeem Noray from Harvard talks about his research with David J. Deming on how changing job skills affect the career dynamics of people majoring in STEM. Recommendations: - Breaki...
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Despite significant process of industrialization in developping countries across the world, agricultural land is still a vital resource for three out of four of the poorest billion individuals in the world. How does land ownership inequality vary across countries and regions of the world? How different is the picture if we account for land area and value, or for the landless population? Yajna Govind gives a full picture of global l...
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Do politicians know enough about voters to adequately represent them? Are they responsive to new information about their constituency? How does it affect the representation of marginalized groups? Asad Liaqat presents the results of large experiment he conducted on politicians in Pakistan, and reveals large information asymmetries in politics. Recommendations: - "Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai...
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Lydia Assouad revisits the "Arab Inequality puzzle" : survey estimates suggest that inequality in the Middle East is not particularly high. In reality, the Middle East is the most unequal region in the world, with both enormous inequality between countries and large inequality within countries. Recommendations: - Comics "Palestine" by Joe Sacco https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/769712.Palestine - Movie "Capern...
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What would have been the economic impact of COVID-19 in a less integrated world? Is trade openness a good or a bad thing to mitigate the shock of a pandemic? How can we quantify the welfare effect of such a large disruption in production? Alessandro Sforza explains why the economic effects of a pandemic crucially depend on the extend to which countries are connected in global production networks. Recommendations: - "The Reach ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the U.S economy at an incredibly rapid pace. Michael Stepner presents his most recent work with Opportunity Insights. Combining anonymized data from private companies, the Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker provides a real-time picture of how the economy is performing. How and where do people spend their money? Who are the most vulnerable workers? Where are located the most affected businesses?...
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Inequality is one of the most pressing issues in the public conversation. Economic research can help us find the tools to address it. Here is a quick taste of what's to come every second Wednesday. By Clémentine Van Effenterre
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