The Haves and the Have-Nots

The Haves and the Have-Nots

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Who is the richest person in the world, ever? Does where you were born affect how much money you’ll earn over a lifetime? How would we know? Why, beyond the idle curiosity, do these questions even matter? In The Haves and the Have-Nots, Branko Milanović, one of the world’s leading experts on wealth, poverty, and the gap that separates them, explains these and other mysteries of how wealth is unevenly spread throughout our world, now and through time.

Milanović uses history, literature and stories straight out of today’s newspapers, to discuss one of the major divisions in our social lives: between the haves and the have-nots. He reveals just how rich Elizabeth Bennet’s suitor Mr. Darcy really was; how much Anna Karenina gained by falling in love; how wealthy ancient Romans compare to today’s super-rich; where in Kenyan income distribution was Obama’s grandfather; how we should think about Marxism in a modern world; and how location where one is born determines his wealth. He goes beyond mere entertainment to explain why inequality matters, how it damages our economics prospects, and how it can threaten the foundations of the social order that we take for granted.

Bold, engaging, and illuminating, The Haves and the Have-Nots teaches us not only how to think about inequality, but why we should.


Branko Milanović (October 24, 1953) is a Serbian-American economist. A development and inequality specialist, he is since January 2014 visiting presidential professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and an affiliated senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS). He was formerly the lead economist in the World Bank's research department, visiting professor at University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. Between 2003 and 2005 he was senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. He has published a large number of papers, including some 40 for the World Bank, mainly on world inequality and poverty. His 2005 book, Worlds Apart covered global income disparity between countries as well as between all individuals in the world. His joint work with Jeffrey Williamson and Peter Lindert was considered by The Economist to "contain the germ of an important advance in thinking about inequality".

Some of his most aclaimed works are Liberalization and Entrepreneurship. Dynamics of Reform in Socialism and Capitalism (1989), Income, Inequality, and Poverty during the Transition from Planned To Market Economy (1998), Worlds Apart. Measuring International and Global Inequality (2005), The Haves and the Have-Nots. A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality (2010), Global inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization (2016).

  • ISBN: 978-953-8075-33-9
  • Dimensions: 142x205 mm
  • Number of pages: 276
  • Cover: paperback
  • Year of the edition: 2017
  • Original title: The Haves and the Have-Nots. A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality
  • Original language: English
  • Translation: Dario Čepo