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Confronting Inequality: How Societies Can Choose Inclusive Growth

Thursday, February 28, 2019
3:45-5:15 pm
Broad Auditorium
Claude Pepper Building
636 W. Call St.

The College of Social Science and Public Policy's Broad International Lecture Series presents noted economist and author Prakash Loungani.

Elites throughout the world have been taken by surprise by spontaneous uprisings such as the ‘yellow vests’ protests in France, the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States, and the ‘Arab Spring’. The election of Donald Trump and the ‘Brexit’ vote in the United Kingdom have also left elites befuddled. In this lecture, Prakash Loungani argues that each of these developments reveals, in its own way, the desire of common people for a fair and inclusive society.

Drawing on a decade of research, Loungani demonstrates that societies that avoid extremes in inequality also enjoy more sustained growth in incomes. And, within reason, societies are free to choose the extent of inequality through their choice of policies, such as how much they privilege the interests of capital over labor and how much ‘austerity’ they choose.

The lecture is based on Loungani’s recent book of the same title, which has been praised by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and many others as instrumental in leading the IMF to promote more inclusive societies.

Prakash Loungani is assistant director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where he has worked for more than two decades in various roles. He is been an adjunct professor of management at Vanderbilt University’s business school since 2001, and lectures at American University and Johns Hopkins University. He teaches a popular course on communicating economics to non-economists.

Prior to joining the IMF, Loungani worked at the Federal Reserve Board and at the University of Florida. His academic publications place him among the Top 2% of economists worldwide.

He blogs as The Unassuming Economist.