Econ 133: Global Inequality and Growth

This course offered to UC Berkeley undergraduates provides an introduction to the analysis of economic inequalities and the interplay between inequality and economic growth. It deals with three sets of core questions: 1) How does inequality vary across countries and evolve over the path of development? 2) What are the theories that can explain the degree of economic inequalities and its dynamic? 3) How do policies affect inequalities, and what types of policies can foster equitable growth?

Spring 2022 Syllabus: here

Course material (including exams, solutions, grade statistics) for previous year available here.

Part I: Core concepts
Lecture 1: Introduction
Lecture 2: What is income?
Lecture 3: What is capital?
Lecture 4: Inequality between labor and capital
Lecture 5: Inequality between individuals

Part II: Global growth and its distribution
Lecture 6: Trends in inequality within countries
Lecture 7: The United States in international perspective
Lecture 8: Inequality during Covid
Lecture 9: Trends in inequality between countries
Lecture 10: Global income inequality dynamics

Part III: Labor income inequality
Lecture 11: Labor income inequality: the role of market forces
Lecture 12: Labor income inequality: the role of institutions
Lecture 13: Gender inequality in the labor market
Lecture 14: Racial economic disparities

Midterm: March 8. Solutions

Part IV: Capital inequality
Lecture 15: Private and public capital
Lecture 16: Global wealth inequality
Lecture 17: Models of the wealth distribution
Lecture 18: r>g
Lecture 19: Inherited versus self-made wealth

Part V: Regulating inequality
Lecture 20: Tax progressivity: a historical perspective
Lecture 21: Optimal labor income taxation
Lecture 22: Optimal capital taxation
Lecture 23: Taxation in a globalized world
Lecture 24: Funding the social state

Final exam: May 13. Solutions.

Grade distribution.