ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Lesson from Two Centuries of Global Inequality (1820–2020)

Need for Equalising Endowments

The article notes that the persistence of inequality, as observed over two centuries, undoubtedly points towards its origins in endowments, which perpetuates inequality in such a consistent manner. The lesson derived from this scrutiny highlights the need for focusing on equalising endowments, particularly the intangible ones, to sustain betterment and attain convergence in the economic landscape.

 

Rising income inequality is a major concern at the global level because it can have a mordant effect on social and political cohesion. Given the importance of the topic, Goal 10 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2015–30) is dealing with the red­uction in inequality within and among countries. The World Inequality Lab at the Paris School of Economics makes a systematic exposition of inequality trends across world regions to offer an understanding on global imbalances and its evolving structure and concentration over the last two centuries. Initially, the World Inequality Database was created during 2011 as the World Top Incomes Database (WTID), which later subsumed in the World Wealth and Income (WID) Database in 2015.

The highlight of this exposition is that in the first period of 1820–1920, global inequality increased with a rise in both inter- and intra-country inequalities (Chancel and Piketty 2021). However, in the first half of 1920–1980, the intra-country inequalities seem to have eased despite the persistent increase in inter-country inequalities. This broad observation has many details ­behind it that uncover the pattern of varying measures of such inequalities as well as its contrast with the population imbalance across regions.

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Updated On : 11th Dec, 2021
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