Inequality and living standards: past and present

Research School of Economics

Event details


Date & time

Thursday 16 March 2017 to Friday 17 March 2017


Fred Gruen Suite, H W Arndt Building 25A, Kingsley Street, ANU


Professor Peter Whiteford, Crawford School, ANU; Dr Anna Missiaia, Lund University; Professor Richard Burkhauser, Cornell University; plus many more.


Professor Tim Hatton

Additional links

Economic inequality has become an increasingly important in the public debate. Rising inequality combined with slow growth in average incomes puts pressure on the living standards of those at the bottom of the distribution. Dramatic increase in incomes at the very top breeds dissatisfaction and calls for policy intervention. A key to understanding how and why inequality evolves, who it affects most and how, is to compare across countries and over the long run. The Centre for Economic History in the Research School of Economics at the ANU is presenting a two day conference to address these questions.

There will be two full days of presentations by distinguished economists and economic historians on the evolution of inequality and living standard in the past and the present. Is the experience of recent decades unique or are there historical parallels, and if so, were the same forces at work? Some of the papers will provide a centuries-long perspective.

The keynote lecture by Professor Leandro Prados de la Escosura (Carlos II, Madrid) contemplates the question: Is there any relationship between economic freedom and inequality? If so how does it work and when was it important? There will also be a focus on measuring recent trends in inequality in Australia, the underlying causes, the implications for living standards of income redistribution through the tax-benefit system, and comparison with other countries.

To register please contact

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