Unbound: How Inequality Constricts Our Economy and What We Can Do about It
A Financial Times Book of the Year
"The strongest documentation I have seen for the many ways in which inequality is harmful to economic growth."
"A timely and very useful guide...Boushey assimilates a great deal of recent economic research and argues that it amounts to a paradigm shift."
Do we have to choose between equality and prosperity? Decisions made over the past fifty years have created underlying fragilities in our society that make our economy less effective in good times and less resilient to shocks, such as today's coronavirus pandemic. Many think tackling inequality would require such heavy-handed interference that it would stifle economic growth. But a careful look at the data suggests nothing could be further from the truth--and that reducing inequality is in fact key to delivering future prosperity.
Presenting cutting-edge economics with verve, Heather Boushey shows how rising inequality is a drain on talent, ideas, and innovation, leading to a concentration of capital and a damaging under-investment in schools, infrastructure, and other public goods. We know inequality is fueling social unrest. Boushey shows persuasively that it is also a serious drag on growth.
"In this outstanding book, Heather Boushey...shows that, beyond a point, inequality damages the economy by limiting the quantity and quality of human capital and skills, blocking access to opportunity, underfunding public services, facilitating predatory rent-seeking, weakening aggregate demand, and increasing reliance on unsustainable credit."
--Martin Wolf, Financial Times
"Think rising levels of inequality are just an inevitable outcome of our market-driven economy? Then you should read Boushey's well-argued, well-documented explanation of why you're wrong."
--David Rotman, MIT Technology Review