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Measuring lnequality in the Middle East 1990-2016: The World's Most Unequal Region?

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  • Facundo Alvaredo

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Lydia Assouad

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Thomas Piketty

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

Abstract

In this paper we combine household surveys, national accounts, income tax data and wealth data in order to estimate the level and evolution of income concentration in the Middle East for the period 1990-2016. According to our benchmark series, the Middle East appears to be the most unequal region in the world, with a top decile income share as large as 61%, as compared to 36% in Western Europe, 47% in the USA and 55% in Brazil. This is due both to enormous inequality between countries (particularly between oil-rich and population-rich countries) and to large inequality within countries (which we probably under-estimate, given the limited access to proper fiscal data). We stress the importance of increasing transparency on income and wealth in the Middle East, as well as the need to develop mechanisms of regional redistribution and investment.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Facundo Alvaredo & Lydia Assouad & Thomas Piketty, 2019. "Measuring lnequality in the Middle East 1990-2016: The World's Most Unequal Region?," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-01883600, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseptp:halshs-01883600
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://shs.hal.science/halshs-01883600
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    2. Facundo Alvaredo & Lydia Assouad & Thomas Piketty, 2019. "Measuring lnequality in the Middle East 1990–2016: The World’s Most Unequal Region?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 65(4), pages 685-711, December.
    3. Joshan, Saeid & Maertens, Sven, 2020. "Low cost carriers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region: Emergence and barriers to development," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    4. Hertog, Steffen, 2019. "What would the Saudi economy have to look like to be 'post rentier'?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 101386, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Carolina Bloch & Charlotte Bilo & Imane Helmy & Rafael Guerreiro Osorio & Fábio Veras Soares, 2019. "Fiscal space for child-sensitive social protection in the MENA region," Research Report 36, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    6. Mohammad Abu-Zaineh & Ramses H. Abul Naga, 2021. "Bread and Social Justice: Measurement of Social Welfare and Inequality Using Anthropometrics," Working Papers 2021-02, Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center.
    7. Adham Sayed, 2020. "Income Inequality and Public Debt: What Can Be Learned from the Lebanese Indebtedness?," Business and Economic Research, Macrothink Institute, vol. 10(4), pages 83-106, December.
    8. Pawel Bukowski & Filip Novokmet, 2018. "Inequality in Poland: Estimating the whole distribution by g-percentile 1983-2015," LIS Working papers 731, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    9. Nora Lustig, 2019. "The “Missing Rich” in Household Surveys: Causes and Correction Approaches," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 75, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    10. Yajna Govind, 2020. "Post-colonial Trends of Income Inequality: Evidence from the Overseas Departments of France," Working Papers halshs-03022303, HAL.
    11. Vladimir Hlasny & Paolo Verme, 2018. "Top Incomes and Inequality Measurement: A Comparative Analysis of Correction Methods Using the EU SILC Data," Econometrics, MDPI, vol. 6(2), pages 1-21, June.
    12. Yajna Govind, 2020. "Post-colonial Trends of Income Inequality: Evidence from the Overseas Departments of France," World Inequality Lab Working Papers halshs-03022303, HAL.
    13. Nora Lustig, 2020. "The ``missing rich'' in household surveys: causes and correction approaches," Working Papers 520, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    14. Bozio, Antoine & Garbinti, Bertrand & Goupille-Lebret, Jonathan & Guillot, Malka & Piketty, Thomas, 2020. "Predistribution vs. Redistribution: Evidence from France and the U.S," CEPR Discussion Papers 15415, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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