Inequality and the Nature of Capital: A Reminder to Economists

Inequality and the Nature of Capital: A Reminder to Economists. YaleGlobal. Chandran Nair. June 17, 2014.

Inequality is not a new topic for developing nations, notes author Chandran Nair. “[Economists seek] to explain the world with reference to economic capital alone while ignoring the mother of all capitals – natural capital,” Nair writes. “Our economic model not only allows for but thrives on what is essentially a collective free ride on the back of natural capital.” Natural capital, including freshwater, clean air and rich soil, is underpriced and subject to massive overconsumption. Focus on economic inequality without proper management of natural capital will result in ongoing disasters including climate change. Nair suggests taxing access to natural resources. Nair concludes that addressing inequality in developing countries is the defining challenge of the 21st century. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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