The New Geography of Global Income Inequality
The surprising finding of this book is that, contrary to conventional wisdom, global income inequality is decreasing. Critics of globalization and others maintain that the spread of consumer capitalism is dramatically polarizing the worldwide distribution of income. But as the demographer Glenn Firebaugh carefully shows, income inequality for the world peaked in the late twentieth century and is now heading downward because of declining income inequality across nations. Furthermore, as income inequality declines across nations, it is rising within nations (though not as rapidly as it is declining across nations). Firebaugh claims that this historic transition represents a new geography of global income inequality in the twenty-first century.
This book documents the new geography, describes its causes, and explains why other analysts have missed one of the defining features of our era--a transition in inequality that is reducing the importance of where a person is born in determining his or her future well-being.
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Massive Global Income Inequality When Did It Arise and Why Does It Matter?
Other Welfare Changes
The Rise in Income Disparities over the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Why Not Focus on Poverty Rather than on Inequality?
The Reversal of Historical Inequality Trends
Myths of the Trade Protest Model
Trends with and without Adjustment for Purchasing Power Parity
Trends in Weighted versus Unweighted Income Inequality
To Weight or Not to Weight?
Why the Weighted and Unweighted Trends Differ
Trends Based on Fixed Population Shares
Trends Based on Overweighting of Poor Nations
What Affects Findings
Continental Divides Asia Africa and the Reversal of the Trend
The Inequality Transition
How Is National Income Measured and Can We Trust the Data?
How Is National Income Measured?
Are Income Estimates Plausible?
Are the Historical Income Data Reliable Enough?
Are the Contemporary Income Data Reliable Enough?
Measuring Income over Time
Adjusting for Household Economies in Poor Nations
Inequality What It Is and How It Is Measured
Income Ratios and Income Inequality
Criteria for Inequality Indexes
Summary of Inequality Measurement
Five Inequality Indexes
What We Already Know
Most of the Worlds Total Income Inequality Is between Nations
A Note on the Traditional Literature on Income Inequality
Income Inequality across Nations in the Late Twentieth Century
The Trend in BetweenNation Income Inequality since 1960
Is the Decline Real?
Other BetweenNation Inequalities
Where Analyses Go Wrong
Weighted versus Unweighted Inequality Key to the Divergence Debate
Regional Growth Rates during Western Industrialization
Regional Growth Rates since 1960
Asian Turnaround and the Reversal of the Trend
The Trend in BetweenNation Income Inequality
Change in Income Inequality within Nations
Historical Trends in Income Inequality Revisited
Data and Methods
Change in WithinNation Income Inequality by Region
Change in WithinNation Income Inequality for the Entire World
Explanations and Predictions
Causes of the Inequality Transition
Rise of the Service Sector
Convergence of National Institutions
Technology That Reduces the Effect of Labor Immobility
World SystemDependency Theory
The Future of Global Income Inequality
The Demographic Windfall Hypothesis
Has Global Income Inequality Peaked?
Does Rising Income Bring Greater Happiness?
Are People Happier Now?