IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Has globalization increased inequality?

There has been no shortage of theories which purport to explain why globalisation may have, adverse, insignificant or even beneficial effects on income and earnings inequality. Surprisingly, the empirical realities remain an almost complete mystery. In this paper we use data on industrial wage inequality, household income inequality as well as measures of the economic, social and political dimensions of globalisation to examine this controversial issue. We find that the economic dimension of globalisation, and – less robustly – political integration, have exacerbated wage inequality in developed countries. In contrast, the impact of globalisation on both income and earnings inequality in less-developed countries has been negligible.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 06-140.

in new window

Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:06-140
Contact details of provider: Postal: Leonhardstrasse 21, CH-8092 Zürich
Phone: +41 44 632 42 39
Fax: +41 44 632 12 18
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
  2. repec:bla:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:2:p:277-97 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Does globalization affect growth? Evidence from a new index of globalization," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1091-1110.
  4. Axel Dreher, 2003. "The Influence of globalization on taxes and social policy - an empirical enalysis for OECD countries," Discussion Papers 0301, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  5. Johnson, George E & Stafford, Frank P, 1993. "International Competition and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 127-30, May.
  6. Rolf Aaberge & Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti & Peder J. Pedersen & Nina Smith & Tom Wennemo, 1997. "Unemployment Shocks and Income Distribution How Did the Nordic Countries Fare During their Crises?," Discussion Papers 201, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  7. Francois, Joseph & Rojas-Romagosa, Hugo, 2005. "The Construction and Interpretation of Combined Cross-Section and Time-Series Inequality Datasets," CEPR Discussion Papers 5214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Claudia Goldin & Robert A. Margo, 1991. "The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid- Century," NBER Working Papers 3817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Lindert, Peter H., 2000. "Three centuries of inequality in Britain and America," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 167-216 Elsevier.
  11. Gwartney, James & Lawson, Robert, 2003. "The concept and measurement of economic freedom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 405-430, September.
  12. Atkinson, A B, 1997. "Bringing Income Distribution in from the Cold," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 297-321, March.
  13. Attanasio, Orazio & Goldberg, Pinelopi & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "Trade Reforms and Wage Inequality in Colombia," CEPR Discussion Papers 4023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Matthew J. Slaughter, 2000. "What Are the Results of Product-Price Studies and What Can We Learn from Their Differences?," NBER Chapters, in: The Impact of International Trade on Wages, pages 129-169 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2004. "Trade, Inequality, and Poverty: What Do We Know? Evidence from Recent Trade Liberalization Episodes in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 10593, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Anthony C. Atkinson, 2003. "Income Inequality in OECD Countries: Data and Explanations," CESifo Working Paper Series 881, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Rebecca M. Blank & Richard B. Freeman, 1993. "Evaluating the Connection Between Social Protection and Economic Flexib ility," NBER Working Papers 4338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Feenstra, Robert C & Hanson, Gordon H, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 240-45, May.
  19. Paul, Gilles Saint & Verdier, Thierry, 1996. "Inequality, redistribution and growth: A challenge to the conventional political economy approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 719-728, April.
  20. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
  21. Finis Welch, 1999. "In Defense of Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 1-17, May.
  22. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
  23. Michael D. Bordo & Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1999. "Is Globalization Today Really Different than Globalization a Hunderd Years Ago?," NBER Working Papers 7195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Kanbur, Ravi, 1998. "Income Distribution and Development," Working Papers 179323, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  25. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  26. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  27. Jorge Saba Arbache & Andy Dickerson & Francis Green, 2004. "Trade Liberalisation and Wages in Developing Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages F73-F96, 02.
  28. Feenstra, Robert C. & Hanson, Gordon H., 1997. "Foreign direct investment and relative wages: Evidence from Mexico's maquiladoras," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 371-393, May.
  29. Gaston, Noel & Nelson, Douglas, 2002. "Integration, Foreign Direct Investment and Labour Markets: Microeconomic Perspectives," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(3), pages 420-59, June.
  30. Wood, Adrian, 1995. "North-South Trade, Employment and Inequality: Changing Fortunes in a Skill-Driven World," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290155, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:06-140. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.