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Inequality and globalization: A review essay

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  • Martin Ravallion

    () (Georgetown University, U.S.A.)

Abstract

As normally measured, “global inequality” is the relative inequality of incomes found among all people in the world no matter where they live. Francois Bourguignon and Branko Milanovic have written insightful and timely books on global inequality, emphasizing the role of globalization. The books are complementary; Milanovic provides an ambitious broad-brush picture, with some intriguing hypotheses on the processes at work; Bourguignon provides a deep and suitably qualified, economic analysis. The paper questions the thesis of both books that globalization has been a major driving force of inequality between or within countries. The paper also questions the robustness of the evidence for declining global inequality, and notes some conceptual limitations of standard measures in capturing the concerns of many observers in the ongoing debates about globalization and the policy responses.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Ravallion, 2017. "Inequality and globalization: A review essay," Working Papers 435, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2017-435
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    File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2017-435.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Olivier Bargain & Tim Callan, 2010. "Analysing the effects of tax-benefit reforms on income distribution: a decomposition approach," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(1), pages 1-21, March.
    2. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
    3. Nancy Birdsall & Christian J. Meyer, 2015. "The Median is the Message: A Good Enough Measure of Material Wellbeing and Shared Development Progress," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 6(4), pages 343-357, November.
    4. Puja Dutta & Rinku Murgai & Martin Ravallion & Dominique van de Walle, 2014. "Right to Work? Assessing India's Employment Guarantee Scheme in Bihar," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 17195.
    5. François Bourguignon, 2011. "Non-anonymous growth incidence curves, income mobility and social welfare dominance," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(4), pages 605-627, December.
    6. Sudhir Anand & Paul Segal, 2008. "What Do We Know about Global Income Inequality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 57-94, March.
    7. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 2002. "Inequality Among World Citizens: 1820-1992," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 727-744, September.
    8. Brandolini Andrea & Carta Francesca, 2016. "Some Reflections on the Social Welfare Bases of the Measurement of Global Income Inequality," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-15, June.
    9. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    10. Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2010. "The Developing World is Poorer than We Thought, But No Less Successful in the Fight Against Poverty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1577-1625.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Inequality and globalization: A review essay
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2019-03-27 14:29:12

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    1. repec:eee:eecrev:v:111:y:2019:i:c:p:85-97 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:bla:devchg:v:50:y:2019:i:2:p:347-378 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:bla:devchg:v:50:y:2019:i:2:p:495-510 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Roope, Laurence & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel & Tarp, Finn, 2018. "How polarized is the global income distribution?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 86-89.
    5. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-18-00727 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ravallion, Martin, 2019. "Global inequality when unequal countries create unequal people," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 85-97.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • F61 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Microeconomic Impacts
    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development

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