The Evidence Is Not Clear

By Daniel Treisman

Daniel Treisman is a professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. His work focuses on Russian politics and economics and comparative political economy. A former lead editor of The American Political Science Review, he has also served as a consultant for the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and as acting director of UCLA's Center for European and Eurasian Studies. In Russia, he is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Higher School of Economics and a member of the Jury of the National Prize in Applied Economics.. Since 2014, he has been the director of the Russia Political Insight Project, an international collaboration funded by the Carnegie Corporation, to investigate political decision making in Putin's Russia.

In 2013, French economist Thomas Piketty released his book, ‘Capitalism in the 21st Century,’ which observed that the rate of capital return in developed countries is persistently greater than economic growth. In other words, global wealth inequality will inevitably increase unless addressed. Piketty’s conclusions remain contested, but there is little doubt that global income and wealth inequality has steadily increased in recent years. As radical left and rightwing political parties rise to prominence in the United States, Europe, and across the world, many speculate that economic inequality lies at the heart of this instability. The Cipher Brief sat down with Daniel Treisman, Professor of Political Economy at the University of California, Los Angeles, to discuss inequality and its effect on political and economic stability.

The Cipher Brief: What is the current state of wealth and income inequality, and how has it shaped the world that we live in today?

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