Inequality and Varieties of Capitalism

Schools of Public Engagement: Milano

Non-Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Graduate Course
Degree Students
Inequality & Var of Capitalism
Spring 2024
Taught By: David Howell
Section: A

CRN: 8514

Credits: 3

This course begins with an exploration of the ideas, interests, and institutions that are at the root of distinct national (and regional) political economies and then studies the consequences of these Varieties of Capitalism for wage, income, wealth, and health inequalities. Led by the US and UK, mainstream thinking and political discourse in many countries shifted sharply to the political right after the early 1980s, reflecting the growing influence of neoliberalism - the view that economic growth, individual freedom and social wellbeing requires a heavy dose of market incentives in the form of low taxes, minimal regulation, and skimpy safety-net policies designed above all to promote low-wage work. Crucially, neither this turn to neoliberalism nor the related trends in inequality and job quality has been uniform across (or within) nations. For example, there are stark geographic differences in the strength of labor unions, the level of the minimum wage, and the generosity of government benefits across American states and across the rich world. The second part of the course will build on this foundation with an examination of two recent health disasters: the recent American opioid epidemic and the current global Covid-19 pandemic. What explains the yawning gap in opioid mortality rates between West Virginia/Kentucky and New York/New Jersey, and between Covid-19 hospitalization and mortality rates in South Dakota and Iowa, on the one hand, and New York, Kerala (Southern India), and New Zealand on the other? More specifically, how important are ideological preferences for small government, levels of income/wealth inequality, and the power of large corporations (e.g., pharmaceuticals) for explaining policy responses to these health crises and for the pattern of health outcomes for at-risk populations? We will conclude by turning this question around: What effects will these epidemics have on future economic inequality, on ideas about individual freedom and preferences for market vs collective solutions, and ultimately, for differences in national and regional capitalisms? Convergence or divergence?

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Milano (MIL)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 10

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 7:26am EDT 6/17/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Thursday
Times: 6:00pm - 7:50pm
Building: 6 East 16th Street
Room: 910
Date Range: 1/25/2024 - 5/9/2024