The Statics and Dynamics of Wealth Distributions
Friday, 10 June, 2016

On Thursday, June 9th, Professor Bruce Boghosian of Tufts University gave a presentation entitled "The Statics and Dynamics of Wealth Distribution", a fascinating topic that detailed the use of an innovative approach to investigate inequality dynamics.

Professor Boghosian first reviewed the history of measuring inequality, discussed the works of well-known scholars of the field such as Pareto, Gibrat, Lorenz, and Gini, and then shared his own fascinating research with the audience. Though the mathematical rigor of the models was interesting, the results were fascinating; Boghosian showed that under certain conditions (when total wealth is unchanged and transactions between economic agents are conducted with few mistakes), societies are consistently prone to wealth concentration and Gini coefficient trends increase.

If the government intervenes to redistribute wealth, it has the potential to reduce inequality. However, if, as Boghosian refers to them, 'wealth-attained advantages' are present in society, then even in the presence of redistribution the emergence of oligarchs is inevitable.

At the end of the presentation, Professor Boghosian showed simulations based on his mathematical model using data taken from the United States. The ISET community was fascinated with the results, and a lively discussion continued even after the presentation had ended.

ISET would like to thank Professor Boghosian for his wonderful and engaging presentation.