The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Inequality (Global)

  • Steve Dowrick
Reference work entry


The seemingly inexorable rise in global inequality from the early 19th century may have reached a plateau at the end of the 20th century, although there are disputes about the methodology underlying that conclusion. Increasing global inequality in the 20th century was driven largely by increasing income gaps between nations. Inequality within countries fell sharply at the beginning of the 20th century, rising slightly towards the end. The strong economic growth of the Chinese economy is tending to reduce global inequality as China moves up towards the middle of the income ladder.


Balassa–Samuelson effect Catch-up Geary–Khamis purchasing power parity Gini index Inequality (global) Inequality (measurement) Inter-country inequality Intracountry inequality Kuznets, S. Mean logarithmic deviation National accounting Purchasing power parity Standard deviation of logarithmic income Theil index Uneven development 

JEL Classifications

O1 E3 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Dowrick
    • 1
  1. 1.