Lectures on Inequality and Growth in OECD and Emerging Economies

Event: Sustainable Growth Model

In the course of several lectures held at different economic and political research institutions in Shanghai on March 25 and 26, Prof Dr Hansjörg Herr und Dr Michael Dauderstädt presented theoretical and empirical findings regarding the relation between inequality and growth, both in developed countries as well as in emerging market economies.

Photo: FES China

In their presentations at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, at Fudan University and at the Shanghai Administration Institute, Prof Herr and Dr Dauderstädt identified several root causes of the rising inequality across the world. Chief among these are the advent of shareholder-value capitalism and the increased financialisation of large parts of the world economy since the 1980s as well as the increased rent-seeking behaviour and wealth accumulation by the global economic and political elite.

The work of French economist Thomas Picketty on the likely rather dire consequences of prolonged inequality on economic and socio-political stability formed a shared backdrop to both Prof Herr's and Dr Dauderstädt's lectures as well as to the ensuing discussions and debates with the participants.

Photo: FES China

In order to rein in these worrisome developments, Herr and Dauderstädt proposed a number of measures such as stricter inheritance taxation laws, minimum wages and tighter regulation of financial actors to constrain the increasingly unbridled accumulation of wealth as well as to prevent large numbers of people slipping into poverty.

These suggestions were taken up by Chinese participants with interest and were in turn the subject of lively debate.

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