Capitalism and Inequality rejects the popular view that attributes the recent surge in inequality to a failure of market institutions. Bringing together new and original research from established scholars, it analyzes the inequality inherent in a free market from an economic and historical perspective. In the process, the question of whether the recent increase in inequality is the result of crony capitalism and government intervention is explored in depth.

The book features sections on theoretical perspectives on inequality, the political economy of inequality, and the measurement of inequality. Chapters explore several key questions such as the difference between the effects of market-driven inequality and the inequality caused by government intervention; how the inequality created by regulation affects those who are less well-off; and whether the economic growth that accompanies market-driven inequality always benefits an elite minority while leaving the vast majority behind. The main policy conclusions that emerge from this analysis depart from those that are currently popular. The authors in this book argue that increasing the role of markets and reducing the extent of regulation is the best way to lower inequality while ensuring greater material well-being for all sections of society.

This key text makes an invaluable contribution to the literature on inequality and markets and is essential reading for students, scholars, and policymakers.

chapter |8 pages


ByG.P. Manish, Stephen C. Miller

chapter 1|16 pages

Capitalism, cronyism, and inequality

ByRandall G. Holcombe

chapter 2|18 pages

Globalization and inequality

Does anyone lose from free trade?
ByDonald J. Boudreaux

chapter 3|18 pages

The institutional justice of the market process

Entrepreneurship, increasing returns, and income distribution
ByPeter J. Boettke, Rosolino A. Candela, Kaitlyn Woltz

chapter 4|21 pages

Growth, inequality, and unfairness

Comparing the progressive and classical liberal perspectives
BySteven Horwitz

chapter 5|26 pages

Government labor policies and the law of unintended consequences

ByRichard Vedder

chapter 6|19 pages

Government and the economic history of American income inequality

ByVincent Geloso

chapter 7|26 pages

Inequality, monetary policy, and the gold standard

ByRobert P. Murphy

chapter 8|30 pages

Market liberalization and the poor in India

Measuring economic inequality through consumption
ByG.P. Manish

chapter 9|27 pages

The economic history of taxation and inequality in the United States

ByPhillip W. Magness

chapter 10|16 pages

The measurement of income distribution and the measurement of inequality

A critical analysis
ByStephen C. Miller