What Do We Know about Global Income Inequality?

Anand, Sudhir and Segal, Paul (2008) What Do We Know about Global Income Inequality? Journal of Economic Literature, 46 (11). pp. 57-94. ISSN 0022-0515

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In this paper, we review the recent literature on global interpersonal income inequality. While all estimates agree that the level is very high, with a Gini of between 0.630 and 0.686 in the 1990s, there is no consensus regarding the direction of change. We discuss methodological issues, including the use of national accounts versus survey-based estimates of mean income (or consumption) and the choice of purchasing power parity exchange rates. Findings of a rise or fall in global income inequality are not robust across different estimation methods and datasets. Given the diversity of estimates and various sources of uncertainty, including gaps and errors in the underlying data, we conclude there is insufficient evidence to determine the direction of change in global interpersonal inequality in recent decades.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Economics
Depositing User: Paul Segal
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:03
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2012 11:34
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19162
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