Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Jerry Muller on Inequality

At the Capitalism and Morality conference last week, I spent lunch talking with Jerry Muller, a co-panelist with Bob Lerman on the first panel on inequality. Muller is a history professor at Catholic University and recently had an article in Foreign Affairs on inequality, here. It was a somewhat pessimistic perspective - ascribing a lot of inequality to genetics. I thought there was some hope held out for things like early childhood education in the talk, but in talking with him during lunch it became clear he's doubtful of that and a lot of Heckman's work too. I don't know the literature well enough to know how pessimistic to be about genetic determinism. I'm not one to dismiss the reality of that, but at the same time it seemed like he put a little too much weight on it. But I don't know.

I made the connection only after the conference that Muller is a fellow board of advisors member for Critical Review as well.

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