Institutions, power, and inequality II

Materials for class on Wednesday, February 13, 2019



Download the slides from today’s lecture.

First slide

International Trade Game

This game was originally developed by the international NGO Action Aid and adapted by Dr. John Sloman from the University of the West of England.


In the 8:00 section, two mergers happened, resulting in higher incomes for both countries. In the 9:30 section, nobody merged and the resulting society was pretty much perfectly equal—no one country had an inordinate amount of the world’s wealth.

8:00 section
Country Total earnings % of world earnings
A2 & B1 $38,900 47.1%
C1 & C2 $33,200 40.2%
A1 $10,500 12.7%
9:30 section
Country Total earnings % of world earnings
C1 $17,300 26.88%
B1 $16,600 25.80%
C2 $15,400 23.93%
A1 $15,050 23.39%

Gini coefficients

This distribution of wealth created societies with different Gini coefficients: 0.23 in the 8:00 section and 0.03 in the 9:30 section (almost exactly 0!)

Clearest and muddiest things

Go to this form and answer these three questions:

  1. What was the muddiest thing from class today? What are you still wondering about?
  2. What was the clearest thing from class today?
  3. What was the most exciting thing you learned?

I’ll compile the questions and send out answers after class.