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Perspectives in International Development Seminar Series: Spring 2021

With a focus on income inequality, this talk asks the question, “are we living in an age of rising inequality?” It gives the answer “no” based on actual global outcomes, which show a varied and nuanced pattern around the world. But it gives the answer “yes” based on (i) the underlying forces of trade and technical change, which are geared towards rising income inequality; (ii) on the very constrained policy space for addressing national income inequality because of factor mobility; and (iii) on the inability of international institutions to stem the race to the bottom on egalitarian national policies.

About the presenter

Ravi Kanbur researches and teaches in development economics, public economics and economic theory at the Cornell University's Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. He is well known for his role in policy analysis and engagement in international development. He has served on the senior staff of the World Bank including as Chief Economist for Africa. He has also published in the leading economics journals, including Journal of PoliticalEconomy, American Economic Review, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Economic Theory and Economic Journal.

He is President of the Human Development and Capabilities Association,Chair of the Board of United Nations University-World Institute forDevelopment Economics Research, Co-Chair of the Scientific Council of theInternational Panel on Social Progress, member of the OECD High LevelExpert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance, Past2President of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, past member of the High Level Advisory Council of the Climate Justice Dialogue, and past member of the Core Group of the Commission on Global Poverty.

About the seminar series

The "Perspectives in International Development Seminar Series" is co-sponsored by the Department of Global Development, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the School of Integrative Plant Science as part of courses IARD 6960NTRES 6960PLSCS 6960 and AEM 6960. For additional questions, contact course teaching assistant Khusel Avirmed at ta346 [at]

Date & Time

April 28, 2021
12:25 pm - 1:15 pm

Ravi Kanbur headshot

More information about this event.

Contact Information

Khusel Avirmed, Teaching assistant

  • ta346 [at]


Ravi Kanbur, Professor, Cornell University


Department of Global Development

Natural Resources and the Environment

Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

School of Integrative Plant Science

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