Welfare, Inequality, and Marketization

  • Jonathan D. LondonEmail author
Part of the Studies in the Political Economy of Public Policy book series (PEPP)


Contending perspectives on marketization and its contributions to welfare and inequality reflect divergent assumptions about the nature of markets and the determination of welfare and inequality outcomes within them, even as the nature and significance of welfare and inequality are themselves the subject of debate. Addressing these themes, this chapter establishes baseline understandings of welfare, inequality, and markets as they are understood across three broad but distinctive approaches to global and comparative political economy. These include: neo-classical political economy, so named for its practitioners’ commitment to ideas in neo-classical economics; critical political economy approaches, which draw on classical and contemporary critiques of classical and neo-classical economics; and, statist perspectives which hold that under certain conditions states can promote economic growth, welfare, and egalitarian outcomes more effectively than would be possible following a simple market logic and are able to pursue goals independent of elite interests and of the interests of ‘capital’ and/or capitalists in particular. In so doing, the chapter shows how rival perspectives on global political economy inform three distinctive accounts of marketization and its effects on patterns of growth, welfare, and inequality on a world scale and correspondingly divergent normative claims about what should be done.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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