New podcast discusses the causes and consequences of inequality and strategies to promote economic mobility.
The Inequality Podcast – available wherever you enjoy podcasts.

What do economists owe to society? 

For its first episode, The Inequality Podcast explores this question with Sam Bowles, Professor of Economics, Emeritus, at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Arthur Spiegel Research Professor at the Sante Fe Institute, and Affiliated Scholar at the University of Siena in Italy.

Professor Steven Durlauf and Bowles cover a variety of topics, including Sam’s intellectual upbringing, his transformative encounter with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his thoughts on equality of voice in capitalist structures, and the ethical courage of pursuing questions rather than answers.

Presented by the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center for Research on Wealth Inequality and Mobility at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy, The Inequality Podcast brings together scholars across disciplines to discuss the causes and consequences of inequality and strategies to promote economic mobility. This podcast is hosted by economists Steven Durlauf and Damon Jones, psychologist Ariel Kalil, and sociologist Geoff Wodtke.

The podcast’s mission is to bring pioneering research on inequality to life for a broader audience through conversations with leading voices across a wide range of academic disciplines. Driven by compelling discussion and debate on the origins and nature of contemporary inequality, renowned experts work to advance discourse on inequality united in the belief that to solve today's most pressing issues on inequality, we need to welcome and explore diverse perspectives.

The episodes also include an "Inequality in Perspective" segment, that this week looks at Pullman, the ill-fated company town located on Chicago’s far south side.

Professors Durlauf, Jones, Kalil, and Wodtke

The Stone Center also released a bonus episode, "Four Questions for Sam Bowles," where Bowles deep dives into into the ancient origins of inequality, Marxian economic theory, the evolution of the economics curriculum, and The Moral Economy.

The four scholars who host The Inequality Podcast are: 

  • Steven Durlauf is the Steans Professor in Educational Policy and the Director of the Stone Center. His research involves the areas of poverty, inequality and economic growth.He is also known as a critic of the use of the concept of social capital by social scientists and has also challenged the ways that agent-based modeling and complexity theory have been employed by social and natural scientists to study socioeconomic phenomena.
  • Damon Jones is an Associate Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and an Associate Director of the Stone Center. He conducts research at the intersection of three fields: public finance, household finance, and labor economics. His current research is on workplace wellness programs, universal basic income, and racial differences in financial outcomes.
  • Ariel Kalil is a Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. At Harris, she directs the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy and co-directs the Behavioral Insights and Parenting LabShe is a developmental psychologist who studies economic conditions, parenting, and child development. Her current research examines the historical evolution of income-based gaps in parenting behavior and children’s cognitive and non-cognitive skills. In addition, at the Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab, she is leading a variety of field experiments designed to strengthen parental engagement and child development in low-income families using tools drawn from behavioral economics and neuroscience.
  • Geoff Wodtke is an Associate Professor of Sociology and an Associate Director of the Stone Center. He is currently working on projects relating to the impact of neighborhood poverty on child development and the link between private business ownership and growing income inequality.

Future guests and topics include: 

  • Luis Bettencourt (Mansueto Institute)
  • Shelly Lundberg (UC Santa Barbara)
  • Nathan Wilmers (MIT)
  • Matt Kahn (USC)
  • Xi Song (UPenn)
  • Jean Philippe Bouchaud (CFM)
  • Spatial Determinants of Inequality
  • Gender-Based Disparities
  • Climate Change and Inequality
  • Racial Health Disparities
  • Systematic Discrimination