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Global inequality and global inequality extraction ratio: The story of the last two centuries


  • Milanovic, Branko


Using social tables, we make an estimate of global inequality (inequality among world citizens) in early 19th century. We then show that the level and composition of global inequality have changed over the last two centuries. The level has increased reaching a high plateau around 1950s, and the main determinants of global inequality have become differences in mean country incomes rather than inequalities within nations. The inequality extraction ratio (the percentage of total inequality that was extracted by global elites) has remained surprisingly stable, at around 70 percent of the maximum global Gini, during the last 100 years.

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  • Milanovic, Branko, 2009. "Global inequality and global inequality extraction ratio: The story of the last two centuries," MPRA Paper 16535, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16535

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Milanovic, Branko & Lindert, Peter & Williamson, Jeffrey, 2007. "Measuring Ancient Inequality," MPRA Paper 5388, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Branko Milanovic, 2006. "An Estimate Of Average Income And Inequality In Byzantium Around Year 1000," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(3), pages 449-470, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guillaume Allègre & Xavier Timbeau, 2015. "La critique du Capital au XXI e siècle . À la recherche des fondements macroéconomiques des inégalités," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 31-55.
    2. Serrano, Joaquín & Benzaquén, Ivana, 2017. "La frontera de posibilidades de desigualdad en América Latina," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(334), pages .427-461, abril-jun.
    3. Guillaume Allègre & Xavier Timbeau, 2014. "The critique of capital in the twenty first century : in search of the macroeconomic foundations of inequality," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2014-10, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    4. Guillaume Allegre & Xavier Timbeau, 2015. "La critique du capital au XXIè sicècle," Post-Print hal-01140572, HAL.
    5. José Gabriel Palma, 2011. "Forum 2011," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 42(1), pages 87-153, January.

    More about this item


    global inequality; economic history; inequality extraction ratio;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy

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