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The Inequality We Want: How Much is too Much?

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  • Alice Krozer

Abstract

A key aspect defining the contemporary income distribution is the (increasing) share the top holds compared to the rest. This paper shows that income concentration increases towards the very top of the distribution, while the shares the middle- and upper-middle-income groups hold, remain stable across countries and over time. Traditional indicators less sensitive to changes at the extremes of the distribution might obscure inequality's actual dimension, and thus help perpetuate it.

Suggested Citation

  • Alice Krozer, 2015. "The Inequality We Want: How Much is too Much?," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2015-015, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp-2015-015
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    File URL: https://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/wp2015-015.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Branko Milanovic, 2002. "True World Income Distribution, 1988 and 1993: First Calculation Based on Household Surveys Alone," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 51-92, January.
    2. Francois Bourguignon, 2004. "The Poverty-growth-inequality triangle," Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi Working Papers 125, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi, India.
    3. Christoph Lakner & Branko Milanovic, 2016. "Global Income Distribution: From the Fall of the Berlin Wall to the Great Recession," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank, vol. 30(2), pages 203-232.
    4. repec:pru:wpaper:21 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Alex Cobham & Andrew Sumner, 2013. "Is it all about the tails? The Palma measure of income inequality," Working Papers 308, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    6. José Gabriel Palma, 2014. "Has the income share of the middle and upper-middle been stable over time, or is its current homogeneity across the world the outcome of a process of convergence? The 'Palma Ratio' revisited," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1437, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    7. Palma, J.G., 2011. "Homogeneous middles vs. heterogeneous tails, and the end of the ‘Inverted-U’: the share of the rich is what it's all about," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1111, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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    Cited by:

    1. Iván González Gordón & Budy P. Resosudarmo, 2019. "A sectoral growth‐income inequality nexus in Indonesia," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(1), pages 123-139, March.
    2. Periklis Gogas & Rangan Gupta & Stephen M. Miller & Theophilos Papadimitriou & Georgios Antonios Sarantitis, 2015. "Income Inequality: A State-by-State Complex Network Analysis," Working Papers 201534, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    3. Emine TAHSİN, 2019. "An Investigation of the Palma Ratio for Turkey Both on National and Regional Level," Sosyoekonomi Journal, Sosyoekonomi Society, issue 27(41).
    4. Mun, Har Wai & Hook, Law Siong & Niaz Ahmad, Mohd Naseem & Mazlan, Nur Syazwani, 2022. "Does Recomposed Institutions Quality Alleviate Extreme Income Inequality?," Jurnal Ekonomi Malaysia, Faculty of Economics and Business, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, vol. 56(2), pages 1-16.
    5. María del Rosario Ruiz Hernández. & Leonardo Adalberto Gatica., 2021. "Efectos de la gran recesión sobre la distribución del ingreso en México. (The Effects of the Great Recession on the Income Distribution in Mexico)," Ensayos Revista de Economia, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Facultad de Economia, vol. 0(1), pages 55-88, May.
    6. Tahsin, Emine, 2019. "Concentration of income inequality on the basis of Palma ratio and income deciles of Turkey on national and regional level," MPRA Paper 92490, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Equality and inequality; Income distribution; Poverty;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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