Quotation Theine, Hendrik. 2019. Economic Inequality and Redistribution Policies – the Conditioning Power of the Media. Dissertation, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien.




In recent decades, societies around the world have witnessed a pivotal trend towards an increasing concentration of income and wealth. Evidence reveals that income and especially wealth is held by a small elite, while those with low and middle incomes have gradually received less. In that regard, this dissertation investigates the role of power within the processes of increasing economic inequality. Drawing on political economy and institutionalist thought, the media is conceived as holding significant conditioning power—a concept introduced by John K. Galbraith (1984)—to shape attitudes about economic inequality and about what to do against it. This cumulative dissertation, consisting of five papers, contributes to the literature, first, by conducting a systematic literature review (paper 1) and, second, by empirically studying the media coverage of economic inequality and redistribution policies (papers 2 to 5). The empirical component of the contribution spans, on one hand, an analysis of the dense media debate following the publication of Thomas Piketty‘s best-selling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century in four European countries and, on the other hand, an investigation of the media coverage of wealth and inheritance taxation over the early 21st century (2000 to 2018) in the German media. Methodologically, this dissertation draws on critical discourse analysis, an interdisciplinary approach with an openness towards both qualitative and quantitative methods.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Dissertation
Language English
Title Economic Inequality and Redistribution Policies – the Conditioning Power of the Media
Academic institution Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
Year 2019
Open Access N


Theine, Hendrik (Details)
Department of Economics (Grisold) (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5334 Political economic policy (Details)
5335 Political economic theory (Details)
5341 Economic policy (Details)
5918 Media research, -studies (Details)
6909 Cultural economics (Details)
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