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Global income inequality has been falling for the last 20 years, moving the world in a fundamentally better direction


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Mark J. Perry

July 19, 2014





An excerpt from Tyler Cowen’s excellent op-ed in today’s NY Times Income “Inequality Is Not Rising Globally. It’s Falling.“:



Income inequality has surged as a political and economic issue, but the numbers don’t show that inequality is rising from a global perspective. Yes, the problem has become more acute within most individual nations, yet income inequality for the world as a whole has been falling for most of the last 20 years. It’s a fact that hasn’t been noted often enough.


The finding comes from a recent investigation by Christoph Lakner and Branko Milanovic. And while such a framing may sound startling at first, it should be intuitive upon reflection. The economic surges of China, India and some other nations have been among the most egalitarian developments in history (see chart above showing declining world poverty rates, especially in East Asia).







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