The Haves and the Have-Nots

By Branko Milanovic,

Book cover of The Haves and the Have-Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality

Book description

Who is the richest person in the world, ever? Does where you were born affect how much money you'll earn over a lifetime? How would we know? Why- beyond the idle curiosity- do these questions even matter? In The Haves and the Have-Nots , Branko Milanovic, one of the world's…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Haves and the Have-Nots as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I have always loved Branko Milanović’s way of addressing complex topics in a very accessible and usually highly original way.

In this book, Milanović pays much attention to the rich and the super-rich and devises a way of comparing their wealth across the ages by asking this simple question: how much labour could they command in their own historical period and socio-economic context?

So, for example, Marcus Licinius Crassus, the richest Roman of Caesar’s times, could, with the yearly income from his vast possessions, command the work of 32,000 people. But, as Milanović argues, today’s super-rich are richer than…

Reading about income inequality can be fun! 

Branko Milanovic combines critical accounts of the literature on inequality with short illustrative vignettes that cover everything from English literature to Marx´s ideas. 

Over three chapters, he reviews the three key dimensions of inequality: income gaps between people within a single country, income gaps between countries, and (combining both) income gaps between all citizens of the world. 

There are so many interesting examples in this book: you will learn what Pride and Prejudice teach us about wealth concentration, the degree of inequality in the Roman empire, or the links between income distribution and…

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