The 2019 Stone Lecture in Economic Inequality: Emmanuel Saez

The Triumph of Injustice

View posterEmmanuel Saez
Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Equitable Growth
University of California, Berkeley

With discussion led by

Stefanie Stantcheva
Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Douglas Elmendorf (Welcome)
Dean, Harvard Kennedy School
Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy

David J. Deming (Introduction)
Director, Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy
Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Monday, October 28 2019
at Harvard Kennedy School

View slides | photos |  poster 

Harvard Crimson coverage
by Jeromel D. Lara and Charles Xu

Jump to...
The book
Companion website
Related media

Scroll down for photos
Emmanuel SaezEmmanuel Saez
Emmanuel Saez
Emmanuel Saez and Stefanie Stantcheva
Emmanuel Saez and Stefanie Stantcheva
Emmanuel Saez
Emmanuel Saez and Stefanie Stantcheva
Emmanuel Saez and Stefanie Stantcheva
Emmanuel Saez lecture
Emmanuel Saez book signing
Photo credits: Stone Lecture audience by Charles Xu, Harvard College and The Harvard Crimson.
Book signing by Peter Q. Blair, Assistant Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The Triumph of Injustice 
How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay

By Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman
W.W. Norton & Company (Oct 15, 2019)

The Triumph of Injustice, by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman

Companion website

Design your own tax reform in this interactive website. Explore how adjusting various taxes can make the tax system more or less progressive. Or design a wealth tax and explore its effects on long-run inequality. Researchers will find all data, code, slides, FAQs, and technical appendices to the book. ▶


In 2018, for the first time in more than one hundred years, billionaires paid a lower tax rate than ordinary workers, crowning the dismantling of America’s system of progressive taxation. In this eye-opening book, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman show that there is no iron law of economics that led us there, just many whose self-interest or misunderstanding of economics make them claim the opposite. Their radical proposal to reinvent taxation for a globalized world will become an unavoidable starting point to any intelligent conversation.

— Esther Duflo, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty.

America is tired with inequality and oligarchy. Armed with eye-popping new data, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman reveal how tax injustice is fueling the oligarchic drift. But above all, they propose bold solutions to help America reconnect with its tradition of tax justice, from the taxation of extreme wealth and giant corporations to the funding of health care for all. This is a brilliantly argued book that is an essential contribution to the global economic and political debate of the twenty-first century.

— Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

[T]he most important book on government policy that I’ve read in a long time.

 David Leonhardt, The New York Times.


How to Tax Our Way Back to Justice
By Emmanuel Saez 
and Gabriel Zucman
The New York Times (Oct 11, 2019)

The Rich Really Do Pay Lower Taxes Than You
By David Leonhardt
The New York Times (Oct 6. 2019)

Combating Inequality conference 1

Combating Inequality: Rethinking Policies to Reduce Inequality in Advanced Economies

Conference organized by Olivier Blanchard (MIT) and Dani Rodrik (Harvard Kennedy School), Peterson Institute for International Economics (Oct 17-18, 2019).

Day 1
Session 1: The Landscape
Session 2: Ethical and Philosophical Dimensions
Session 3: Political Dimensions
Session 4: The Distribution of Human Capital
Session 5: Trade, Outsourcing, and Foreign Investment
Session 6: The (Re)distribution of Financial Capital

Day 2
Session 1: Rate and Direction of Technological Change
Session 2: Labor Market Policies, Institutions, and Norms
Session 3: Labor Market Tools
Session 4: Social Safety Nets
Session 5: Progressive Taxation
Concluding Remarks