Welfare, Inequality, and Poverty

How social democrats may become reluctant radicals: Thomas Piketty’s Capital and Wolfgang Streeck’s Buying Time

Abstract The continuing ramifications of the financial crisis of 2007–2008 have forced social scientists to raise fundamental questions about the relationship between capitalism, democracy and inequality. In particular, Thomas Piketty’s Capital and Wolfgang Streeck’s Buying Time focus on, respectively, the economic and the political contradictions of capitalistic societies. Piketty argues that capitalism naturally tends towards […]

Family Options Study: Short-Term Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) undertook the Family Options Study to gather evidence about which types of housing and services interventions work best for homeless families. The study compares the effects of three active interventions— permanent housing subsidy (SUB), community-based rapid re-housing (CBRR), and project-based transitional housing (PBTH)—to one […]

Why the Surge in Income Inequality?

Income inequality is more severe in the United States than in any other affluent longstanding-democratic country, and it has increased sharply in the past generation. The rise in inequality is mainly a story of growing separation between households in the top 1 percent and those in the ‘‘bottom’’ 99 percent. Income inequality within the lower 99 […]

Inequality: What Can Be Done?

As discussed in Inequality: What Can Be Done?, the study of income inequality was “marginalized” in mainstream economics for much of the twentieth century. The most notable exception to this generalization is the work of Anthony B. Atkinson, the British economist who is the leading authority and pioneer of the economics of inequality. He even […]

Stumbling towards Stockholm

Lane Kenworthy believes that within the next half-century the United States will very likely become a “modern social democracy,” using government to advance a “good society” of economic security, opportunity (at least in the Amartya Sen sense of “capabilities”), and rising living standards for all. It will do this through generous and employment-friendly social policies […]