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Global Earnings Inequality, 1970–2015

Listed author(s):
  • Hammar, Olle

    ()

    (Uppsala University)

  • Waldenström, Daniel

    ()

    (Paris School of Economics)

We estimate trends in global earnings dispersion across occupational groups using a new database covering 66 developed and developing countries between 1970 and 2015. Our main finding is that global earnings inequality has declined, primarily during the 2000s, when the global Gini coefficient dropped nearly 10 points and the earnings share of the world's poorest half doubled. Decomposition analyses emphasize the role of income convergence between poor and rich countries and that earnings have become more similar within occupations in traded industries. Sensitivity checks show that the results are robust to varying real exchange rates, inequality measures and population definitions.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10762.

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Length: 75 pages
Date of creation: May 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10762
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  1. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_price_indexes_inequality_and_the_measurement_of_world_poverty_aer. is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer, 2015. "The Next Generation of the Penn World Table," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3150-3182, October.
  3. François Bourguignon, 2015. "The Globalization of Inequality," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10433.
  4. Anthony B. Atkinson & Andrea Brandolini, 2010. "On Analyzing the World Distribution of Income," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 24(1), pages 1-37, January.
  5. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 2002. "Inequality Among World Citizens: 1820-1992," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 727-744, September.
  6. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Price Indexes, Inequality, and the Measurement of World Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 5-34, March.
  7. Braconier, Henrik & Norback, Pehr-Johan & Urban, Dieter, 2005. "Multinational enterprises and wage costs: vertical FDI revisited," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 446-470, December.
  8. repec:pri:rpdevs:presidential%20address%2017january%202010%20all.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Daniele Checchi & Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Lara Vivian, 2016. "Are changes in the dispersion of hours worked a cause of increased earnings inequality?," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-34, December.
  10. Chiara Binelli & Orazio Attanasio, 2010. "Mexico in the 1990s: the Main Cross-Sectional Facts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 238-264, January.
  11. Angus Deaton & Alan Heston, 2010. "Understanding PPPs and PPP-Based National Accounts," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 1-35, October.
  12. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2010. "Inequality Trends in Sweden 1978-2004," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 179-208, January.
  13. 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.
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