• book

From the Publisher

We are used to thinking about inequality within countries--about rich Americans versus poor Americans, for instance. But what about inequality between all citizens of the world? Worlds Apart addresses just how to measure global inequality among individuals, and shows that inequality is shaped by complex forces often working in different directions. Branko Milanovic, a top World Bank economist, analyzes income distribution worldwide using, for the first time, household survey data from more than 100 countries. He evenhandedly explains the main approaches to the problem, offers a more accurate way of measuring inequality among individuals, and discusses the relevant policies of first-world countries and nongovernmental organizations.

Inequality has increased between nations over the last half century (richer countries have generally grown faster than poorer countries). And yet the two most populous nations, China and India, have also grown fast. But over the past two decades inequality within countries has increased. As complex as reconciling these three data trends may be, it is clear: the inequality between the world's individuals is staggering. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the richest 5 percent of people receive one-third of total global income, as much as the poorest 80 percent. While a few poor countries are catching up with the rich world, the differences between the richest and poorest individuals around the globe are huge and likely growing.

Published: Princeton University Press on
ISBN: 9781400840816
List price: $30.95
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Worlds Apart: Measuring International and Global Inequality
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.

Related Articles

2 min read

Shrinking the Gap Is Key for Democracy

ONE OF THE REASONS I ran for President was because, for decades, the economy had been changing, and Washington hadn’t done enough to make it work for working Americans. Everywhere I went, it seemed like our economy’s basic bargain—if you work hard, you can get ahead—had frayed. The good news is, policy proves we can make a difference. In 2015, the typical household saw its income rise by $2,800. That’s a 5% gain—the fastest rate on record. And 3.5 million Americans climbed out of poverty—the most in one year since the 1960s. Changes to tax policy under my Administration helped ensure the 1% p
The Atlantic
4 min read

Severe Inequality Is Incompatible With The American Dream

The numbers are sobering: People born in the 1940s had a 92 percent chance of earning more than their parents did at age 30. For people born in the 1980s, by contrast, the chances were just 50-50. The finding comes from a new paper out of The Equality of Opportunity Project, a joint research effort of Harvard and Stanford led by the economist Raj Chetty. The paper puts numbers on what many have seen firsthand for years: The American dream—the ability to climb the economic ladder and achieve more than one’s parents did—is less and less a reality with every decade that goes by. There are two mai
The Atlantic
5 min read

The Only Thing, Historically, That's Curbed Inequality: Catastrophe

Calls to make America great again hark back to a time when income inequality receded even as the economy boomed and the middle class expanded. Yet it is all too easy to forget just how deeply this newfound equality was rooted in the cataclysm of the world wars. The pressures of total war became a uniquely powerful catalyst of equalizing reform, spurring unionization, extensions of voting rights, and the creation of the welfare state. During and after wartime, aggressive government intervention in the private sector and disruptions to capital holdings wiped out upper-class wealth and funneled r