Chapter 7: The multiplicity of distributional outcomes across the world: diversities of fundamentals or countries getting the inequality they deserve?
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In this chapter I examine the main stylised facts of the current broad spectrum of inequality and then propose new ways of looking at inequality. I discuss why the neoclassical theory of factor shares that underpins influential accounts of inequality today (e.g., Piketty) not only does not ‘fit the facts’, but also relies on a methodology and social ontology that assumes that particularly complex and over-determined processes are just the simple sum of their parts. I conclude that in order to understand current distributive dynamics, what really matters is to comprehend the forces determining the share of the rich – and, in terms of growth, what they choose to do with it.

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