Unfair distribution: Poverty, inequality and deprivation (PEC4128.01)

Lopamudra Banerjee

Poverty [defined as absolute deprivation] and inequality [defined as relative deprivation] are the two key concepts that allow us to talk about unevenness in income distribution and the unfairness in distribution of economic goods and economic opportunities amongst people.  This course traces the roots of these two key concepts in welfare economics, and asks: What causes poverty? What brings about inequality? Who should be held responsible for undertaking actions to reduce deprivation and distributional asymmetries? How can we apply various tools of empirical analysis to measure deprivation within a country and across the world? The course examines poverty and inequality in income and wealth (which leads to non-fulfillment of basic needs of food and shelter) and studies deficits in human development (including non-access to health, education, and environmental goods). It, then, examines the social arrangements that generate the ‘initial’ systemic conditions of poverty and inequality in terms of  [a] class polarities, [b] power asymmetries, and [b] systemic discrimination and exclusion in terms of identity [especially, in terms of gender and race]. The course then explores the idea of distributive justice and fairness in relation to these social structural arrangements. The assignment for the course is a long paper and presentation.

Prerequisites: One previous SCT course, or permission of the instructor.
Credits: 4
T 10:10am - 12:00pm; F 10:10am - 12:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as 4000, All courses, Anthropology, CAPA, Environment, Four Credit, Lopamudra Banerjee, Political Economy, Politics, Tuesday and/or Friday Afternoons.