Courtesy of Gabriel Zucman
BY ANUSHKA CHAKRABARTI
In the latest installment of the “Possible Worlds” lecture series, French economist Gabriel Zucman joined UCLA students, faculty and community members on October 11 to discuss the link between globalization, taxation and inequality. The event was held in person at Royce Hall, with a livestream reaching additional audience members virtually.
In his talk, “The New Treaties of Globalization,” Zucman discussed a range of topics, including the concept of implementing a progressive wealth tax to better reflect modern society. The lecture was followed by a Q&A session moderated by Juliana Londoño-Vélez, an assistant professor of economics at UCLA and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
A collaborative effort between the UCLA Division of Humanities and the Los Angeles-based Berggruen Institute, “Possible Worlds” is a biannual lecture series that invites today’s most imaginative intellectual leaders and creators to deliver talks on the future of humanity. Zucman’s lecture marked the fifth event in the series.
Zucman is an associate professor of economics at UC Berkeley, where he directs the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Wealth and Income Inequality; he also serves as director of the EU Tax Observatory, an independent research laboratory hosted at the Paris School of Economics. In his lecture, he explained how progressive taxation could work and described how some European countries have adopted the practice.
“I want to start thinking about a new form of globalization, one in which tax cooperation would replace tax competition, financial transparency would replace financial opacity, and more broadly we, as nations, would find a way to reconcile international economic openness with tax justice,” Zucman wrote in an email interview.
He added that he hopes attendees left the lecture with a sense of optimism.
“One of my hopes is precisely to give some hope: to demonstrate practically that there are possible ways to organize globalization that will make it fairer and more sustainable,” Zucman wrote.