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Thomas Piketty On Globalisation And Borders

Summary:
Thomas Piketty has an interesting observation on globalisation and migration/borders.From slide 11 from a lecture from July (and in earlier talks too):Why is rising inequality not leading to rising demand for redistribution?One possible explanation: globalisation & competitition between countries make vertical redistribution more difficult to organize.I.e. if the only thing the modern nation-state can do is to control borders, then unsurprisingly the political conflict will be entirely about border controls and immigration.→ end of class-based redistributive politics, rise of identity-based conflictCertainly part of the explanation, but not enough: too mechanical.Nothing in globalization makes redistribution technically impossible.Globalisation—under the current rules of the game—puts a

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Thomas Piketty has an interesting observation on globalisation and migration/borders.

From slide 11 from a lecture from July (and in earlier talks too):

  • Why is rising inequality not leading to rising demand for redistribution?
  • One possible explanation: globalisation & competitition between countries make vertical redistribution more difficult to organize.
    I.e. if the only thing the modern nation-state can do is to control borders, then unsurprisingly the political conflict will be entirely about border controls and immigration.
    → end of class-based redistributive politics, rise of identity-based conflict
  • Certainly part of the explanation, but not enough: too mechanical.
    Nothing in globalization makes redistribution technically impossible.

Globalisation—under the current rules of the game—puts a constraint on the expansion of economies. So Piketty thinks that this can explain the debate around migration since the last few years. Although he doesn’t say that, I’d imagine that he is saying that the distribution of income favouring lower classes is difficult because of the race to the bottom caused by globalisation.

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