Global Inequality by Branko Milanovic

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Branko Milanovic (born in 1953 in Paris, France) is the author of Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization (2016). A Serbian-American economist, he is Visiting Presidential Professor at the City University Graduate Center of New York and Senior Scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study Center (LIS). He is working on the issues of income inequality, globalization, and global equity.

Branko Milanovic currently serves on the advisory board for Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP). His professional interests are inequality and poverty, globalization, global income distribution, global justice, and social policy. He also writes a blog, globalinequality, since May 2014.

He studied economics at Belgrade University and earned a PhD in 1987, writing his tesis on economic inequality in Yugoslavia, based on micro data from Yugoslav household surveys.

Milanovic was formerly the lead economist in the World Bank’s research department and visiting professor at University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. Between 2003 and 2005 he was senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. He remained an adjunct scholar with the Endowment until early 2010. In November 2014, he became external fellow in Center for Global Development in Washington.

He is the author of many articles and several books, among the latter:

  • Liberalization and Entrepreneurship. Dynamics of Reform in Socialism and Capitalism (1989)
  • Income, Inequality, and Poverty during the Transition from Planned To Market Economy (1998)
  • Worlds Apart. Measuring International and Global Inequality (2005)
  • The Haves and the Have-Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality (2010)
  • Global inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization (2016).

His essay, Global Inequality, in its German translation, received the Bruno Kreisky Prize for the best political book of 2016, and was included among 12 top books in business and economics published in 2016 by the Financial Times.


One of the world’s leading economists of inequality, Branko Milanovic presents a bold new account of the dynamics that drive inequality on a global scale. Drawing on vast data sets and cutting-edge research, he explains the benign and malign forces that make inequality rise and fall within and among nations. He also reveals who has been helped the most by globalization, who has been held back, and what policies might tilt the balance toward economic justice.

Global Inequality takes us back hundreds of years, and as far around the world as data allow, to show that inequality moves in cycles, fueled by war and disease, technological disruption, access to education, and redistribution. The recent surge of inequality in the West has been driven by the revolution in technology, just as the Industrial Revolution drove inequality 150 years ago. But even as inequality has soared within nations, it has fallen dramatically among nations, as middle-class incomes in China and India have drawn closer to the stagnating incomes of the middle classes in the developed world. A more open migration policy would reduce global inequality even further.

Both American and Chinese inequality seems well entrenched and self-reproducing, though it is difficult to predict if current trends will be derailed by emerging plutocracy, populism, or war. For those who want to understand how we got where we are, where we may be heading, and what policies might help reverse that course, Milanovic’s compelling explanation is the ideal place to start.





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