Political Economy of Inequality S8

Time Slot: 
Tuesday 11th April 15:30 - 17:00
Panel Chair: 
  • Dr Jeremy Green (University of Cambridge)
Panel Members: 
  • Dr Johnna Montgomerie (Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • Professor Matthew Watson (University of Warwick)
  • Awaiting details of this person
  • Dr James Wood (University of Cambridge)

We live in an age of great and growing inequality. Financial markets drive up executive profits while driving most households into debt. Technological change guides some professionals into lovely jobs while leaving most in lousy ones. And rising house prices enrich homeowners in cities while pushing renters out of them. This inequality is both a product of our ‘interesting times’ and a producer of them. As the growing populist movements in Europe and the United States have already shown, inequality is generating conflicts that are reshaping the political and economic order. This panel examines the political economy of inequality from three unique perspectives. Dr. Johnna Montgomerie (Goldsmiths) and James Wood (King’s College London) explore the role of household debt in deepening inequality across space and time. David Adler (University of Oxford) explores the political consequences of wealth inequality, presenting evidence that rising house prices produce polarization in preferences over social policy between owners and renters. And Matthew Watson (University of Warwick) explores governments’ response to this preference polarization, arguing that politicians reject calls for redistribution in the name of an ‘efficient’ macroeconomic policymaking that he calls ‘Machonomics.’ Together, these three papers suggest that the politics of these ‘interesting times’ are shaped fundamentally by the growing divide between the Haves and the Have Nots — in Britain and around the world. Dr Jeremy Green (Cambridge) will serve as panel chair.