Measuring Inequality in the Middle East 1990-2016: The World's Most Unequal Region?

61 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2017

See all articles by Facundo Alvaredo

Facundo Alvaredo

Ecole Normale Superieure (PSE-ENS)

Lydia Assouad

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Thomas Piketty

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Date Written: October 2017

Abstract

In this paper we combine household surveys, national accounts, income tax data and wealth data in order to estimate the level and evolution of income concentration in the Middle East for the period 1990-2016. According to our benchmark series, the Middle East appears to be the most unequal region in the world, with a top decile income share as large as 61%, as compared to 36% in Western Europe, 47% in the USA and 55% in Brazil. This is due both to enormous inequality between countries (particularly between oil-rich and population-rich countries) and to large inequality within countries (which we probably under-estimate, given the limited access to proper fiscal data). We stress the importance of increasing transparency on income and wealth in the Middle East, as well as the need to develop mechanisms of regional redistribution and investment.

Suggested Citation

Alvaredo, Facundo and Assouad, Lydia and Piketty, Thomas, Measuring Inequality in the Middle East 1990-2016: The World's Most Unequal Region? (October 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12405, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3066017

Facundo Alvaredo (Contact Author)

Ecole Normale Superieure (PSE-ENS) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
75014 Paris
France

Lydia Assouad

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Thomas Piketty

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
493
PlumX Metrics