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Equity

Henry Mayhew and Thomas Piketty on Equity and Inequality
  • Sarah Winter
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Culture and Economics book series (PSLCE)

Abstract

This chapter studies journalist Henry Mayhew’s critique of political economy and the exploitation of workers in Victorian-era London alongside economist Thomas Piketty’s analysis of global economic inequality in Capital in the Twenty-First Century. In his serial edition of London Labour and the London Poor (1850–1852), Mayhew formulates an approach called “social economy” to contest theories of supply and demand as applied to labor, based on the concept of equity, a judgment combining fairness and equality. Although equity is not a keyword for Piketty, both his and Mayhew’s attempts to reorient economics toward questions of wealth distribution and social justice demonstrate an enduring project to reconceive the field as socially accountable. A distributional concept such as equity could invigorate interdisciplinary research and current public conversations on economic inequality.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Winter
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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