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Changes in income inequality from a global perspective: an overview

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  • Thomas Goda

    ()
    (Universidad EAFIT)

Abstract

Rising income inequality has recently moved into the centre of political and economic debates in line with increasing claims that a global rise in income inequality might have been a root cause of the subprime crisis. This paper provides an extensive overview of world scale developments in relative (i.e. proportional) income inequality to determine if the claims that the latter was high prior to the crisis are substantiated. The results of this study indicate that (i) non-population adjusted inequality between countries (inter-country inequality) increased between 1820 and the late 1990s but then decreased thereafter, while there was a steady decrease after the 1950s when population weights are taken into account; (ii) income inequality between ‘global citizens’ (global inequality) increased significantly between 1820 and 1950, while there was no clear trend thereafter; (iii) contemporary relative income inequality within countries (intra-country inequality) registered a clear upward trend on a global level since the 1980s.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Post Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG) in its series Working Papers with number PKWP1303.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pke:wpaper:pkwp1303

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Keywords: Personal income distribution - trends in income inequality;

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Edward & Andy Sumner, 2013. "Inequality from a global perspective: An alternative approach," Working Papers 302, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  2. Peter Edward, Andy Sumner, 2013. "The Geography of Inequality: Where and by How Much Has Income Distribution Changed since 1990?-Working Paper 341," Working Papers 341, Center for Global Development.
  3. Thomas Goda, 2013. "The role of income inequality in crisis theories and in the subprime crisis," Working Papers PKWP1305, Post Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG).

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