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New CGPE Working Paper

How ‘demos’ met ‘cracy’: debt, inequality, moneyHow ‘demos’ met ‘cracy’: debt, inequality, money
Andreas Antoniades and Ugo Panizza
Working Paper No. 19  March 2020

The recurrence of ever more destructive economic crises and patterns of pervasive indebtedness and inequality threaten the social fabric of our societies. Our main responses to these trends have been partial, focusing on symptoms rather than causes, often exacerbating rather than improving the underlying socio-economic dynamics. To reflect on these conditions and on ‘what needs to be done’ this paper turns to a similar socio-economic malaise faced by the city-state of Athens in the 6th century BC. Most historical studies dealing with this crisis focus on the comprehensive debt relief policy (seisachteia) implemented by Solon. We argue that this debt relief, although necessary, was the least important of Solon’s reforms.


By: Martin Wingfield
Last updated: Monday, 16 March 2020