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The DPE Distinguished Lectures in Political Economy: Professor Branko Milanovic

Strand Building, Strand Campus, London


Professor Branko Milanovic: Recent trends in global income distribution and their political implications

The talk will discuss the evolution in global inequality over the past two centuries, with the focus on the most recent 2008-2020 estimates and will draw political implications of the important changes that are taking place in the global distribution of income. In particular, it will focus on the rise of the middle class in Asia, income stagnation of the rich countries' middle classes, reshuffling of global income positions between China and Asia in general, and the West, and the stability in the composition of the global top one per cent. It will discuss possible future evolution of global inequality in which the roles of India and large African countries will become increasingly important.

The lecture will be followed by a reception.

About the DPE Distinguished Lectures in Political Economy

The DPE Distinguished Lectures in Political Economy, hosted by the Department of Political Economy, aim to bring influential and thought-provoking speakers to King’s College London to address key issues in the fields of politics and economics. The lectures showcase the inter-disciplinarity that underlies the Department of Political Economy, which was established in 2010 and is the only department of its kind in the United Kingdom.


Branko Milanovic is a research professor at the Graduate Centre, City University of New York (CUNY), senior scholar at the Stone Centre on Socio-economic Inequality at CUNY, and visiting professor at the Institute for International Inequalities at the London School of Economics. In 2019 he was appointed the honorary Maddison Chair at the University of Groningen. He obtained his PhD in economics (1987) from the University of Belgrade with a dissertation on income inequality in Yugoslavia. He served as lead economist in the World Bank’s research department for almost 20 years, leaving to write his book on global income inequality, Worlds Apart (2005). He was senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington (2003-2005) and has held teaching appointments at the University of Maryland (2007-2013) and at the Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (1997-2007). He was a visiting scholar at All Souls College in Oxford, and Universidad Carlos III in Madrid (2010-11).

Branko’s main area of work is income inequality, in individual countries and globally, including in pre-industrial societies. He has published articles in the Economic Journal, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Economic Literature, Nature, Economic History Review, and Journal of Political Philosophy, among others. His book, The Haves and the Have-nots (2011) was selected by the Globalist as the 2011 Book of the Year. His book Global Inequality (2016), was awarded the Bruno Kreisky Prize for the best political book of 2016, and Hans Matthöfer Prize in 2018, and was translated into 16 languages. It addresses economic and political effects of globalization and introduces the concept of successive “Kuznets waves” of inequality. In March 2018, Branko was awarded (jointly with Mariana Mazzucato) the 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Knowledge. His new book Visions of Inequality: From the French Revolution to the End of the Cold War was published in 2023.

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