The Haves and the Have-Nots Book Summary - The Haves and the Have-Nots Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro
00:00

The Haves and the Have-Nots summary

Branko Milanović

A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality

4.3 (21 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

'The Haves and the Have-Nots' by Branko Milanović is an economic analysis of inequality. It explores the causes and consequences of inequality, and offers insights into its impact on society and politics.

Table of Contents

    The Haves and the Have-Nots
    Summary of 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    Inequality between individuals can change depending on developments in society.

    Do you think a capitalist society would have different levels of inequality than would a socialist society?

    Your answer is probably “yes,” but in the early days of income distribution studies, the answer wasn’t always so obvious.

    In the early 1900s, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, a pioneer in the field of inequality, was the first scholar to study inequality in terms of income distribution among individuals rather than among classes.

    Pareto’s central belief was that social arrangement – whether a society was capitalist, socialist or feudalist, for instance – had almost no effect on income distribution.

    He reached this conclusion through the omnipresent 80/20 law, which states that 80 percent of an economy’s effects – such as sales in stores – are a result of 20 percent of the causes – such as the demand of clients.

    In turn, this means that the wealthiest 20 percent of the population controls 80 percent of the total income.

    In Pareto’s view, changes in social arrangement couldn’t ever effectively challenge this law. As a result, Pareto believed that levels of inequality would always remain more or less unchanged.

    Russian-American economist Simon Kuznets challenged this idea in 1955 when he theorized that inequality among individuals does, in fact, change as society changes.

    After conducting extensive research, Kuznets found that economic growth initially increases income inequality, but later decreases it.

    When society shifted from an agricultural focus to an industrial focus, the new industrial class began to earn much more money than did farmers, and thus income inequality increased.

    As society advanced, however, increased education and progressive state policies – such as government spending, taxes and other forms of income redistribution – caused income inequality to stall and eventually decrease.

    Such policies shifted the balance of income toward the bottom and showed that, in contrast to Pareto’s ideas, Kuznets was correct in believing that social arrangement does have an impact on income inequality.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Haves and the Have-Nots?

    Key ideas in The Haves and the Have-Nots

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Haves and the Have-Nots about?

    The Haves and the Have-Nots (2010) shows how inequality throughout history has made its mark on society at large. These blinks explore three types of inequality: inequality among individuals in a single country; inequality among countries; and global inequality, or inequality among all the world’s citizens.

    The Haves and the Have-Nots Review

    The Haves and the Have-Nots (2010) delves into the global wealth gap and its implications for society. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its comprehensive analysis of income inequality, the book provides deep insights into the dynamics of economic disparities.
    • Through compelling data and thought-provoking examples, it sheds light on the social and political consequences of inequality, making it highly relevant in today's world.
    • Its exploration of the historical context and cross-country comparisons captivate readers, creating a nuanced understanding of inequality on a global scale.

    Best quote from The Haves and the Have-Nots

    There are no countries where all people are paid equally, nor are there countries where only one person appropriates the entire income.

    —Branko Milanović
    example alt text

    Who should read The Haves and the Have-Nots?

    • Students interested in politics and global justice
    • People curious about global economics

    About the Author

    Branko Milanović is a specialist on inequality and poverty. He is the visiting presidential professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and an affiliated senior scholar at the LIS Cross-National Data Center. He was formerly a lead economist with the World Bank's research department and visiting professor at University of Maryland and at Johns Hopkins University. Milanović is the author of Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization.

    Categories with The Haves and the Have-Nots

    Book summaries like The Haves and the Have-Nots

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    30 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The Haves and the Have-Nots FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Haves and the Have-Nots?

    The main message of The Haves and the Have-Nots is the examination of global income inequality and its consequences.

    How long does it take to read The Haves and the Have-Nots?

    The reading time for The Haves and the Have-Nots varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in a few minutes.

    Is The Haves and the Have-Nots a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Haves and the Have-Nots is a thought-provoking book that offers valuable insights into the global wealth distribution. It's definitely worth a read.

    Who is the author of The Haves and the Have-Nots?

    The author of The Haves and the Have-Nots is Branko Milanović.