Book Presentation: Dobbiamo preoccuparci dei ricchi?
Le disuguaglianze estreme nel capitalismo contemporaneo
by Maurizio Franzini, Elena Granaglia, Michele Raitano. Il Mulino, 2014
(English edition: Extreme Inequalities in Contemporary Capitalism. Should We Be Concerned About the Rich? Springer, 2016)
Giovanni Pitruzzella, Chairman of the Italian Competition Authority
Salvatore Rossi, Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Italy
Nadia Urbinati, Columbia University
Anna Giunta, Università Roma Tre e Centro Rossi-Doria
Abstract. This book explores the mechanisms by which top incomes are achieved through work in today’s advanced economies and asks to what extent current extreme inequalities are compatible with widely held values of social justice. Reflecting on the heterogeneity of the working rich, the authors argue that very high earnings often result not from heightened competition induced by globalization but rather from a lack of competition, or at best deficient competition. It is proposed that such incomes cannot be justified in terms of efficiency or merit and do not generate positive trickle-down effects with benefits for all of society; rather, extreme inequalities in earnings risk jeopardizing equality of opportunity. The book concludes by offering a wide array of innovative policy prescriptions that are not punitive in intent and are not merely directed toward income redistribution. Readers will find the book to be a fascinating source of insights into the subject of the working rich, which remains largely unexplored within both economics and ethics.
Maurizio Franzini has published extensively on a variety of issues from environmental topics to institutional economics, and from market failures to inequality and welfare policies. Among his publications are: Disuguaglianze inaccettabili (Laterza 2013); and Explaining inequality (with M. Pianta; Routledge 2015).
Elena Granaglia (BA in Government, Harvard College, 1978; MPA, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1982) has published extensively on social justice, efficiency, and the institutional design of social policies. She has also undertaken various consulting assignments for the Italian Government on social issues.
Michele Raitano (PhD in Economic Policy, Sapienza University of Rome, 2004) has published extensively on issues related to inequality and social mobility, the labor market, human capital, the welfare state, and pensions. He has been a consultant to the Italian Government on welfare and pension issues and a national delegate to the Ageing Working Group of the Economic Policy Committee. He has coordinated several European research projects on issues related to pensions and the labor market.