Inequality within a System of Entangled Political Economy: Reflections on Mikayla Novak’S Disentanglement of Fact and Value

24 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2019

See all articles by Richard E. Wagner

Richard E. Wagner

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 8, 2019

Abstract

In Inequality: An Entangled Political Economy Perspective, Mikayla Novak takes the analysis of inequality in a new direction by exploring the tension between fact and value that pervades most analyses of inequality. Novak offers new insights into the entangled character of political economic systems. It is customary to treat those systems as operating independently of one another, but Novak recognizes that this customary treatment leads thought astray. Inequality is a fact of social life, and a useful one at that, though Novak also recognizes the problematic qualities that can stem from inequality, while also recognizing that some of those qualities are intensified and not softened by political action. The overall thrust of Novak’s Inequality is to generate a deeper understanding of how it is that many of the traditional concerns about inequality are more effectively treated by an expansion of economic liberty than by a continued injection of political domination into society.

Keywords: inequality; Gini coefficient; Vilfredo Pareto; entangled political economy; choice vs. chance; material and immaterial inequality

JEL Classification: D01, D31, D63, P16

Suggested Citation

Wagner, Richard E., Inequality within a System of Entangled Political Economy: Reflections on Mikayla Novak’S Disentanglement of Fact and Value (February 8, 2019). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 19-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3331197 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3331197

Richard E. Wagner (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
334 Enterprise Hall
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
(703) 993-1132 (Phone)

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