A Financial Times Best Economics Book of the Year A ProMarket Best Political Economy Book of the Year "A timely and very useful guide...Boushey assimilates a great deal of recent economic research and argues that it amounts to a paradigm shift." --New Yorker "In this outstanding book, Heather Boushey...shows that, beyond a point, inequality damages the economy by limiting the quantity and quality of human capital and skills, blocking access to opportunity, underfunding public services, facilitating predatory rent-seeking, weakening aggregate demand and increasing reliance on unsustainable credit." --Martin Wolf, Financial Times "The strongest documentation I have seen for the many ways in which inequality is harmful to economic growth." --Jason Furman, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers "Think rising levels of inequality are just an inevitable outcome of our market-driven economy? Then you should read Boushey's well-argued, well-documented explanation of why you're wrong." --David Rotman, MIT Technology Review Do we have to choose between equality and prosperity? Decisions made over the past 50 years have created underlying fragilities in our society that make our economy less effective in good times and less resilient to shocks, such as today's coronavirus pandemic. Many think tackling inequality would require such heavy-handed interference that it would stifle economic growth. But a careful look at the data suggests nothing could be further from the truth--and that reducing inequality is in fact key to delivering future prosperity. Presenting cutting-edge economics with verve, Heather Boushey shows how rising inequality is a drain on talent, ideas, and innovation, leading to a concentration of capital and a damaging under-investment in schools, infrastructure, and other public goods. We know inequality is fueling social unrest. Boushey shows persuasively that it is also a serious drag on growth.
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Heather Boushey is President and CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and former Chief Economist on Hillary Clinton's transition team. She is the author of Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict and coeditor of After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality (both from Harvard). The New York Times has called Boushey one of the "most vibrant voices in the field" and Politico twice named her one of the top 50 "thinkers, doers, and visionaries transforming American politics."
For a long time, the argument over inequality was about whether it was the price that had to be paid for a dynamic economy. In this outstanding book, Heather Boushey...turns this upside down. She shows that, beyond a point, inequality damages the economy by limiting the quantity and quality of human capital and skills, blocking access to opportunity, underfunding public services, facilitating predatory rent-seeking, weakening aggregate demand, and increasing reliance on unsustainable credit. -- Martin Wolf * Financial Times * A timely and very useful guide...Boushey assimilates a great deal of recent economic research and argues that it amounts to a paradigm shift. * New Yorker * In Unbound Heather Boushey presents the strongest documentation I have seen for the many ways in which inequality is harmful to economic growth. Anyone interested in just about any aspect of economic policy, from education to antitrust to macroeconomics, will learn something from this important book. -- Jason Furman, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Think rising levels of inequality are just an inevitable outcome of our market-driven economy? Then you should read Boushey's well-argued, well-documented explanation of why you're wrong. -- David Rotman * MIT Technology Review * From one of Washington's most influential voices on economic...a lively and original argument that reducing inequality is not only fair but also key to delivering broadly shared economic growth and stability. -- Beth Kanter * Omidyar Network * Brilliant...Boushey connects [the] dots in a remarkable and refreshing manner. Even for people who have studied the issue, the links and specific policy issues she identifies are illuminating...It is an important cautionary tale: we get the inequality that we choose, regardless of whether we are aware that we are making a choice. -- Simon Johnson * Project Syndicate * Offer[s] up an almost encyclopedic rendition of inequality's impact on the U.S. economy...The depth of evidence that Boushey compiles is extremely impressive. -- Liam Kennedy * LSE Review of Books * Lays out a powerful argument on how inequality harms growth, competition, and innovation. * ProMarket * A rising tide used to lift all boats, but decades of rising economic inequality and wage stagnation have changed that. In Unbound Heather Boushey provides a clear and compelling analysis of the many ways income and wealth inequality limits our economic potential, drawing important lessons from cutting-edge economic research. An invaluable addition to current economic policy debates, Unbound is a must-read for those striving for inclusive economic growth. -- Kimberly Clausing, author of <i>Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital</i> Copies of this book should be mailed to every legislator in the country. It is a powerful summary of an enormous amount of the latest and best economics research on inequality, presented clearly and explained with accessible prose. -- Suresh Naidu, Columbia University There is a strange gap: a discipline like economics, which aims at achieving the greatest good for the greatest number, ought to have long ago focused on how costly inequality is for all-or almost all-of us. But no. Now, Boushey's Unbound expertly fills that gap. -- J. Bradford DeLong, University of California, Berkeley A comprehensive and bracing view of how a new generation of economists are rethinking one of the most fundamental social problems facing societies around the world: inequality. Heather Boushey offers a road map for policies that can lead to a more equitable and just society and underscores the need for bold thinking on political economy. -- David Weil, Dean and Professor, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University Piercing. -- Richard Eisenberg * Next Avenue *
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