MIEPP – Topics in climate change and inequality

Master in International Economics & Public Policy (MIEPP)

Organizer: Khieu Van Hoang


Inequality, especially wealth inequality, has been probably one
of the topics extensively discussed over the last decade since the
enormous public success of Piketty (2014)’s book on ‘Capital in
the Twenty-First Century’. Many economists were inspired by
this success and reviewed the book focusing on various aspects of
its findings (e.g. Acemoglu and Robinson, 2015; Mankiw, 2015;
Krusell and Smith, Jr., 2015; Blume and Durlauf, 2015; Jones,
2015; Fischer, 2017; Khieu, 2022). This seminar allows students
to study all aspects related to the determinants and consequences
of inequality as well as inequality-reducing public policies.
Distinctly but relatedly, climate change has recently drawn huge
attention from the public due to its severe effect on the global economy
(IPCC, 2023). Emissions of carbon dioxide are believed to be
the main driver of changes in regional and global climatic conditions.
These changes lead to the increased frequency and intensity
of extreme weather events and natural disasters and therefore have
negative effects on people’s well-being. There is an increasing literature
on the interaction between climate change and inequality
(Karakas and Mitra, 2020; Burzy´nski et al., 2022; Krusell and
Smith Jr, 2022). In this seminar, students are encouraged to explore
the evolution of climate change, its effects on human beings,
and its link to inequality.

Organization and timeline

• Introductory session (November 9): There will be a first meeting in the first
week of November 2023, in which the organizer will give an
introduction into the theme of the seminar. Students are expected
to choose a topic upon the first meeting.
• Check-in session (December 19): The second meeting will take place a week
before Christmas. The main purpose of this meeting is to
check and facilitate the progress of the writing of students’
seminar papers.
• Presentation session (February 1): Students will present their work during
the last week of January 2024. The instructor will give
feedback based on the submission of seminar papers and the
• Submission deadline: Please send a pdf-file by email to
hkhieu@uni-mainz.deby January 15, 2024. The title
of the email should read ‘MIEPP seminar paper submission -
your name’.
• Q&A: Between the introductory session and the presentation
session, appointments can be made via email, and the meeting
will take place on Zoom. The link is here.


Acemoglu, D. and Robinson, J. A. (2015). The rise and decline of
general laws of capitalism. Journal of Economic Perspectives,
Blume, L. and Durlauf, S. (2015). Capital in the twenty-first century:
A review essay. Journal of Political Economy, 123:749–
Burzy´nski, M., Deuster, C., Docquier, F., and De Melo, J. (2022).
Climate change, inequality, and human migration. Journal of
the European Economic Association, 20(3):1145–1197.
Fischer, T. (2017). Thomas piketty and the rate of time preference.
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 77:111–133.
IPCC (2023). Summary for policymakers. Climate Change 2023:
Impacts, Adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral
Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth
Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change. Cambridge University Press.
Jones, C. (2015). Pareto and piketty: The macroeconomics of top
income and wealth inequality. Journal of Economic Perspectives,
Karakas, L. D. and Mitra, D. (2020). Believers vs. deniers: Climate
change and environmental policy polarization. European
Journal of Political Economy, 65.
Khieu, H. (2022). Rising wealth inequality: When r − g matters.
Oxford Economic Papers, 74(2).
Krusell, P. and Smith Jr, A. A. (2022). Climate change around
the world. NBER Working Paper No. 30338.
Krusell, P. and Smith, Jr., A. A. (2015). Is piketty‘s second law
of capitalism fundamental? Journal of Political Economy,
Mankiw, N. (2015). Yes, r > g. so what? American Economic
Review: Papers and Proceedings, 105:43–47.
Piketty, T. (2014). Capital in the 21st Century. Harvard University