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How Much Inequality Is Fair?
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How Much Inequality Is Fair?: Mathematical Principles of a Moral, Optimal, and Stable Capitalist Society

Venkat Venkatasubramanian


Many in the United States feel that the nation’s current level of economic inequality is unfair and that capitalism is not working for 90% of the population. Yet some inequality is inevitable. The question is: What level of inequality is fair? Mainstream economics has offered little guidance on fairness and the ideal distribution of income. Political philosophy, meanwhile, has much to say about fairness yet relies on qualitative theories that cannot be verified by empirical data. To address inequality, we need to know what the goal is—and for this, we need a quantitative, testable theory of fa ... More

Keywords: Inequality, economic inequality, executive compensation, tax policy, free-market capitalism, fairness, economics, political philosophy, game theory

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780231180726
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2019 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231180726.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Venkat Venkatasubramanian, author
Columbia University