Who Got What, Then and Now? A Fifty Year Overview from the Global Consumption and Income Project
46 Pages Posted: 5 May 2015 Last revised: 11 Mar 2017
Date Written: May 8, 2015
Using new comprehensive data and tools from the Global Consumption and Income Project (GCIP), covering most of the world and more than five decades, we present a portrait of the changing global distribution of consumption and income and discuss its implications for understanding inequality and inclusivity of growth and development. We show how regional distributions of income and consumption have evolved very differently over time. We undertake sensitivity analysis to quantify the impact of various choices made in database construction and analysis. We find, in keeping with other studies that levels of consumption and income have increased across the distribution, that the global distribution has become more relatively equal due to falling inter-country relative inequality though more absolutely unequal. We describe the singular role of China in bringing about the observed changes. We also present new findings about some old ‘stylized facts’ as well as new ones deserving study.
Keywords: Global Distribution, Inequality, Economic Growth, Welfare
JEL Classification: D30, D31, D60, D63, I30, O10, O15, P50
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