World Inequality Report 2018 is the most authoritative and up-to-date account of global trends in inequality. Researched, compiled, and written by a team of the world’s leading economists of inequality, it presents—with unrivaled clarity and depth—information and analysis that will be vital to policy makers and scholars everywhere.
Inequality has taken center stage in public debate as the wealthiest people in most parts of the world have seen their share of the economy soar relative to that of others, many of whom, especially in the West, have experienced stagnation. The resulting political and social pressures have posed harsh new challenges for governments and created a pressing demand for reliable data. The World Inequality Lab at the Paris School of Economics and the University of California, Berkeley, has answered this call by coordinating research into the latest trends in the accumulation and distribution of income and wealth on every continent. This inaugural report analyzes the Lab’s findings, which include data from major countries where information has traditionally been difficult to acquire, such as China, India, and Brazil. Among nations, inequality has been decreasing as traditionally poor countries’ economies have caught up with the West. The report shows, however, that inequality has been steadily deepening within almost every nation, though national trajectories vary, suggesting the importance of institutional and policy frameworks in shaping inequality.
World Inequality Report 2018 will be a key document for anyone concerned about one of the most imperative and contentious subjects in contemporary politics and economics.
Examining the World Inequality Report—…by the creators of the World Wealth and Income Database, who include the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez—it is tempting to see the rising concentration of incomes as some sort of unstoppable force of nature, an economic inevitability driven by globalization and technology… And yet, a careful examination of the data suggests there is nothing inevitable about untrammeled inequality.
Back in 1980, the bottom 50 percent of wage-earners in the United States earned about 21 percent of all income in the country—nearly twice as much as the share of income (11 percent) earned by the top 1 percent of Americans. But today, according to [World Inequality Report 2018], those numbers have nearly reversed: the bottom 50 percent only take in 13 percent of the income pie, while the top 1 percent grab over 20 percent of the country’s income.
The 2018 World Inequality Report shows the share of wealth held by the top 1% of earners in the U.S. doubled from 10% to 20% between 1980 and 2016, while the bottom 50% fell from 20% to 13% in the same period.
Sure to become a standard source for data on income and wealth inequality.
Three and a half years ago, the English publication of Thomas Piketty’s surprise bestseller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, sparked an international debate about the roots of rising inequality. Today, [World Inequality Report 2018] makes for equally sobering reading: The gap between rich and poor has increased in nearly every region in the world over the past few decades.
Sure to spark discussion on national policy and its effects on wealth and inequality, making it a much-needed resource.
- 344 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Belknap Press
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