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MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences - Great Ideas Change the World

Daron Acemoglu on Inequality and the Crash


 

 

 


 

Discerning the role of income inequality in the financial crisis
"Daron Acemoglu of MIT talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the role income inequality may have played in creating the financial crisis. Raghuram Rajan in his book, Fault Lines, argues that growing income inequality in the last part of the 20th century created a political demand for redistribution and various policy changes. This in turn created the push for higher home ownership rates and led to the distortions of the housing market that in turn led to excessive risk-taking in the financial market.

Acemoglu suggests a simpler story where the financial sector through its political influence distorted the rules of the game, benefiting executives in the industry, which in turn led to outsized rewards and ultimate instability in the financial industry. The conversation discusses ways of distinguishing between these two arguments and what might be done to change the incentives of politicians." 

 

From the Library of Economics and Liberty

 

 

Suggested links

Daron Acemoglu's home page

About Acemoglu | Department of Economics

Acemoglue selected a top global thinker

Thoughts on Inequality in Financial Crisis

Presentation by Acemoglu, AEA, January 2011