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Global Income Inequality by the Numbers: In History and Now --An Overview--

Branko Milanovic

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); University of Maryland

November 1, 2012

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6259

The paper presents an overview of calculations of global inequality, recently and over the long-run as well as main controversies and political and philosophical implications of the findings. It focuses in particular on the winners and losers of the most recent episode of globalization, from 1988 to 2008. It suggests that the period might have witnessed the first decline in global inequality between world citizens since the Industrial Revolution. The decline however can be sustained only if countries' mean incomes continue to converge (as they have been doing during the past ten years) and if internal (within-country) inequalities, which are already high, are kept in check. Mean-income convergence would also reduce the huge "citizenship premium" that is enjoyed today by the citizens of rich countries.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

Keywords: Inequality, Poverty Impact Evaluation, Services & Transfers to Poor, Equity and Development, Income

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Date posted: April 20, 2016  

Suggested Citation

Milanovic, Branko, Global Income Inequality by the Numbers: In History and Now --An Overview-- (November 1, 2012). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6259. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2173655

Contact Information

Branko Milanovic (Contact Author)
World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )
1818 H. Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-6968 (Phone)
202-522-1153 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/bmilanovic
University of Maryland ( email )
College Park
College Park, MD 20742
United States
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