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Global inequality : from class to location, from proletarians to migrants

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  • Milanovic, Branko

Abstract

Inequality between world citizens in mid-19th century was such that at least a half of it could be explained by income differences between workers and capital-owners in individual countries. Real income of workers in most countries was similar and low. This was the basis on which Marxism built its universal appeal. More than 150 years later, in the early 21st century, the situation has changed fundamentally: more than 80 percent of global income differences is due to large gaps in mean incomes between countries, and unskilled workers'wages in rich and poor countries often differ by a factor of 10 to 1. This is the basis on which a new global political issue of migration has emerged because income differences between countries make individual gains from migration large. The key coming issue will be how to deal with this challenge while acknowledging that migration is probably the most powerful tool for reducing global poverty and inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Milanovic, Branko, 2011. "Global inequality : from class to location, from proletarians to migrants," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5820, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5820
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Li, Bozhong & van Zanden, Jan Luiten, 2012. "Before the Great Divergence? Comparing the Yangzi Delta and the Netherlands at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(04), pages 956-989, December.
    2. Milanovic, Branko, 2011. "A short history of global inequality: The past two centuries," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 494-506.
    3. Maddison, Angus, 2007. "Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199227204.
    4. Walmsley, Terrie L. & Winters, L. Alan, 2005. "Relaxing the Restrictions on the Temporary Movement of Natural Persons: A Simulation Analysis," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 20, pages 688-726.
    5. Broadberry, Stephen N & Gupta, Bishnupriya, 2005. "The Early Modern Great Divergence: Wages, Prices and Economic Development in Europe and Asia, 1500-1800," CEPR Discussion Papers 4947, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Ricci, 2016. "Unequal Exchange in International Trade:A General Model," Working Papers 1605, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2016.
    2. Peter Edward & Andy Sumner, 2014. "The Poor, the Prosperous and the ?Inbetweeners?: A Fresh Perspective on Global Society, Inequality and Growth," Working Papers 122, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    3. Peter Edward & Andy Sumner, 2013. "Inequality from a global perspective: An alternative approach," Working Papers 302, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    4. Branko Milanovic, 2013. "Global Income Inequality in Numbers: in History and Now," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 4(2), pages 198-208, May.
    5. Gori, Giuseppe Francesco & Lambertini, Luca, 2013. "Trade liberalisation between asymmetric countries with environmentally concerned consumers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 549-560.
    6. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:133-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Andy Sumner, 2012. "The Buoyant Billions: How “Middle Class†Are the New Middle Classes in Developing Countries? (And Why Does It Matter?)," Working Papers id:5169, eSocialSciences.

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    Keywords

    Inequality; Emerging Markets; Economic Theory&Research; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Income;

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