New gift to promote study of egalitarian capitalism
Pressing issues of inequality are driving research into new economic approaches
A gift from Gavin Oldham (Trinity 1968), founder and former Chair of Share PLC, will fund a new programme of research to study egalitarian capitalism at the University of Cambridge. The gift, which will benefit the Faculty of Economics and King’s College Cambridge, supports a Research Fellow at King’s College and a PhD student in the Faculty of Economics for four years.
Gavin Oldham has long been a proponent of egalitarian capitalism, which he defines as “people from all walks of life having the opportunity to experience a genuine sense of ownership and to feel in control of their own destiny”, and of inter-generational rebalancing.
“Political solutions to resolve inequality, particularly enforced ‘redistribution’ of wealth through taxation and state intermediation, have led to soaring public debt and social discord” he remarked. “Yet if we do nothing, this will become the largest, most intractable economic problem humanity has ever faced. Particular attention needs to be given to the huge number of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who need resources and life skills to achieve their potential in adult life; and to explore how technology – and the tech giants – can become a catalyst for empowering people and spreading wealth and opportunity as opposed to concentrating wealth in very few hands”.
The SHARE (Supporting Human Achievement through Research based on Egalitarian principles) Egalitarian Capitalism programme will include four key areas of research:
- Intergenerational Wealth Transfer
- Human capital, improving opportunity and productivity through education and training
- Mass ownership
Professor Leonardo Felli, Chair of the Faculty of Economics, commented:
“A more egalitarian system of capitalism, one that empowers and provides individuals from all walks of life with the opportunities to fulfil their potential, could offer an economic solution to addressing the increasingly serious problem of inequality. More research is certainly needed to understand how this would and could best function, and to give the subject the underpinning and credibility it needs to gain traction and move forwards. With a very dynamic research community within the Faculty focused on studying inequality, we’re absolutely delighted to undertake this research programme thanks to the generous support from Gavin Oldham.”
Professor Michael Proctor, Provost of King’s College, said: “King’s has a long and distinguished record in economics research. We have been the home of many outstanding economists, from the time of Keynes onwards. I am delighted that the SHARE Research Fellow will join our current vibrant and diverse Fellowship to build on this tradition, and that, thanks to Gavin Oldham’s philanthropy, a body of research will be taken forward which will help address some of the most troubling societal inequalities facing the world today.”
About Gavin Oldham OBE
Gavin Oldham was founder, former chief executive, then chair, of Share plc/The Share Centre, the retail stockbroker which provided investment and trading services for over 300,000 personal investors, employees and shareowners. In July 2020 it merged with Interactive Investor, of which he is now a director.
In 2005 he established The Share Foundation, the registered charity which operates the DfE’s Junior ISA & Child Trust Fund arrangements for young people in care. The Share Foundation is also undertaking a major recovery campaign for the Child Trust Fund throughout the UK through its search facility.