Without China and India, global interpersonal income inequality in 143 countries was higher in 2015 than in 1988. Has the rest of the world really become more equal?
After amply discussing income inequality in Europe and the US, economists are now looking at the magnitude, implications and possible remedies for this phenomenon in the context of the Chinese economy.
Over the past decade, the income share of low earners has increased in the EU while that of top earners has slightly declined. Although the upward convergence of the impoverished central European population is impressive, the southern European poor have faced a major setback while the southern European rich have hardly suffered.
Following almost a decade of relative stability, income inequality within the EU recorded a sizeable decline in 2016, reaching its lowest value since 1989. The fall of both within- and between-country inequality contributed to the 2016 reduction in overall EU inequality.
Income inequality among citizens of 146 continues to fall, though at a somewhat reduced pace, according to the updated Bruegel dataset. Income convergence of China and India accounts for the bulk of the decline in global income inequality from 1988-2015.