World Inequality and Globalization
The article assesses recent attempts to measure the level and changes in world inequality. It compares results based on country averages, population-weighted inter-country Gini coefficients, and combinations of inter-country and intra-country distribution figures. Most measures agree that inequality grew up to 1980; some suggest that it stabilized or declined slightly after that date, but that conclusion is not definitive. The article argues against reliance on single indicators to measure world inequality as opposed to looking at various measures, including inequality between regions and the ratios of incomes of the poor and the rich. According to several of these measures, inequality has continued to grow. The addition of variables other than income (life expectancy and education) appear to reduce inequality, but this is largely an illusion. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.
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