WIDER Annual Lecture 3
Is Rising Income Inequality Inevitable?

a Critique of the Transatlantic Consensus

In this thought-provoking lecture, Professor Atkinson focuses on the rise in income inequality in a large number of industrialized countries over the last two decades. This phenomenon, which first became apparent in the United States and the United Kingdom, is now occurring in a number of other countries as well. However, the experience is not uniform across countries, and this suggests that policy matters. Thus, rising inequality is not necessarily inevitable, in contrast to the widely held belief (of the Transatlantic Consensus) that it is an unavoidable consequence of the present revolution in information technology or the globalization of trade and finance.The 3rd WIDER Annual Lecture was given by Professor A. B. Atkinson in Helsinki on 1st November 1999, under the title ‘Is Rising Income Inequality Inevitable? A Critique of the Transatlantic Consensus’.