Conference coordinators: Olivier Blanchard (PIIE) and Dani Rodrik (Harvard University)

October 17, 2019 9:00 AM to October 18, 2019 5:15 PM

PIIE Webcast, Washington, DC

The Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) held a major conference on “Combating Inequality: Rethinking Policies to Reduce Inequality in Advanced Economies," on October 17–18, 2019. The conference coordinators were Olivier Blanchard, C. Fred Bergsten Senior Fellow at PIIE, and Dani Rodrik, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Inequality has increased in almost all advanced economies, to alarming levels in some cases as in the United States. It is essential, therefore, to consider the full range of policies, in education, finance, labor markets, taxation, and beyond, to address it. The purpose of the conference is to take stock of knowledge about specific concrete policies that can be deployed to reduce within-country inequality in advanced economies. The conference comprised one survey paper to set the landscape on the evolution of inequality in advanced economies, two general panels on the moral and political aspects of inequality, and a series of policy proposals.

Olivier Blanchard began organizing the Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy series at the International Monetary Fund, where he was the chief economist from 2008 to 2015. This year’s Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy Conference, the fifth in the series, featured Nobel laureates Angus Deaton and Peter Diamond, among two dozen leading policy scholars who discussed inequality issues and shared policy recommendations in high-level panel discussions.

MIT Press will publish a conference volume in 2020.


There was heated discussion between Larry Summers and E. Saez.

But the discussion by Gabriel Zucman is very informative: