Five Lectures on Economic Inequality

Debraj Ray

Department of Economics, University of Warwick, May 2018

My lectures will be divided into five 2-hour sessions. For links to slides used in the lectures and some readings, see below.

Lecture dates and locations:

May 21 (Monday), 10am-12noon, Room E0.23

May 22 (Tuesday), 10am-12noon, Room S0.17

May 23 (Wednesday), 10am-12noon, Room S0.17

May 24 (Thursday), 10am-12noon, Room S0.17

May 29 (Tuesday), Room R3.41 (Ramphal Building)

6th class: Tuesday afternoon just after the photoshoot, located TBD, shorter class for discussion and finishing up material.

Office Hours: You are free to email me any time and set up an appointment to meet. I will be more than happy to talk about the course, or your research, or life in general...

Lecture 1. Personal Inequality 1 [Slides 1, Supplement to Slides 1]


D. Ray (2010), "Uneven Growth: A Framework for Research in Development Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives 24, No. 3 (Summer 2010), 45--60.

D. Ray, Development Economics, Princeton University Press, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4 (new versions)

D. Ray (2014), "Nit-Piketty," blog post, published in CESifo Forum 16 (1), 2015, 19-25.


T. Piketty (2013), Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Lecture 2. Personal Inequality 1 [Slides 2]


G. Loury (1981), "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings,'' Econometrica 49, 843-867.

D. Mookherjee and D. Ray (2003), "Persistent Inequality," Review of Economic Studies 70, 369--393.

D. Mookherjee and D. Ray (2010), "Inequality and Markets," AEJ Microeconomics 2, 38-76.


A. Banerjee and A. Newman (1993), "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development,'' Journal of Political Economy 101, 274-298.

O. Galor and J. Zeira (1993), "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics,'' Review of Economic Studies 60, 35-52.

Lecture 3. Functional Inequality 1 [Slides 3]


D. Mookherjee and D. Ray (2018), "Capital and Inequality in the Long Run: Automation without Technical Progress," mimeo.


D. Acemoglu and P. Restrepo (2017), "The Race Between Man and Machine," American Economic Review, forthcoming.

Lecture 4. Polarization, Fractionalization and Conflict [Slides 4, Supplement to Slides 4]


D. Ray and J. Esteban (2017), Conflict and Development, Annual Reviews of Economics 9, 263-293.

J. Esteban and D. Ray (2011), "Linking Conflict to Inequality and Polarization," American Economic Review 101(4), 1345–74.

J-Y. Duclos, J. Esteban and D.Ray (2004), "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Econometrica 72, 1737-1772.


L. Mayoral and D. Ray (2017), "Groups in Conflict: Size Matters, But Not in the Way You Think," mimeo., Department of Economics NYU.

Lecture 5. Some Empirical Findings on Conflict [Slides 5]


Esteban, J., Mayoral, L. and D. Ray (2012), "Ethnicity and Conflict: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review 102, 1310-1342.

Mitra, A. and D. Ray (2014), Implications of an Economic Theory of Conflict: Hindu-Muslim Violence in India, Journal of Political Economy 122, 719-765.


Montalvo, J. and M. Reynal-Querol (2005), "Ethnic Polarization, Potential Conflict and Civil Wars," American Economic Review 95, 796--815.

Miguel, E., Satyanath, S. and E. Sergenti (2004), "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy 112, 725--753.

Esteban, J., Mayoral, L. and D. Ray (2012), "Ethnicity and Conflict: Theory and Facts," Science 336, 858 - 865.

Dal Bó, E., and P. Dal Bó (2011), "Workers, Warriors and Criminals: Social Conflict in General Equilibrium," Journal of the European Economic Association 9, 646-677.

Dube, O. and J. Vargas (2013), "Commodity Price Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Colombia," Review of Economic Studies 80, 1384–1421

Postscript: Towards a Model of Class Conflict [Slides 6, link coming]