Lectures on Economic Inequality

Debraj Ray

Department of Economics, University of Warwick, May 2019

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

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

May 22 (Wednesday), 10am-12noon, Room E0.23

May 23 (Thursday), 10am-12noon, Room S2.84

May 24 (Friday), 10am-12noon and 2pm-4pm, Room S2.84

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. (draft to be updated)


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

Lecture 4. Polarization, Fractionalization and Conflict [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.

Lecture 5. Some Empirical Findings on Conflict [Slides 5, Slides 5a (won't be taught, do not print)]


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


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


L. Mayoral and D. Ray (2018), "Groups in Conflict: Size Matters, But Not in the Way You Think," mimeo., Department of Economics NYU.

Religious Violence and the Salience of Ethnic Conflict [Slides 6]

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.

Mitra, A. and D. Ray (2019), Hindu-Muslim Violence in India: A Postscript From the 21st Century, in Advances in the Economics of Religion (J-P Carvalho, S. Iyer and J. Rubin, eds.) Volume 158, International Economic Association Series.