Mr. Yaron Brooks from the Ayn Rand Institute argues that global income inequality is decreasing. True/false?


closed as too broad by Alecos Papadopoulos, Jason Nichols Feb 24 '15 at 18:09

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    $\begingroup$ I don't see how that can possibly be substantiated by evidence $\endgroup$ – serakfalcon Feb 24 '15 at 0:39
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    $\begingroup$ I vote to close because the answer does not provide essential information, like a summary of the arguments (like on what data was the claim based), links, or other relevant sources. $\endgroup$ – Alecos Papadopoulos Feb 24 '15 at 1:01
  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the OP does not provide essential information $\endgroup$ – Alecos Papadopoulos Feb 24 '15 at 1:02
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    $\begingroup$ @serakfalcon Don't trust any statistics you didn't manipulate yourself. I'm pretty sure that while inequality within countries is increasing in most countries, inequality between countries (say, over means of income for each country) is decreasing, simply by convergence in growth. $\endgroup$ – FooBar Feb 24 '15 at 12:30
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    $\begingroup$ Thomas Piketty and his co-authors have spent a lot of time collecting data to address this question. See this webpage: topincomes.g-mond.parisschoolofeconomics.eu. This work has certainly made it seem more feasible to find an answer to the question posed here than to many other questions posed in this forum. $\endgroup$ – TMB Feb 25 '15 at 20:42

Here is a fairly instructive figure showing a cross-country measure of income inequality:

World Gini coefficient

It shows that inequality was increasing for most of the last 35 years, but has started to decrease again recently. (You can read more at the source for this figure: http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/hot-topics/worldinequality.aspx)

Once data is weighted by population, we see a longer-term trend for decreasing inequality (due to rapid growth in China and India, which contain around a third of the world's people:

enter image description here

As @FooBar notes in a comment, a pattern of decreasing income inequality is consistent with economic theories of convergence.

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    $\begingroup$ Perfect answer for the question, exactly what I was gonna do later the day if I had the time. Shows that the question (despite being short) is a good one and deserves staying open. $\endgroup$ – FooBar Feb 24 '15 at 19:32
  • $\begingroup$ I agree. While it may not be possible to answer the question with true/false only, I believe it is possible to answer it in the differentiated way as for example in this answer. $\endgroup$ – HRSE Nov 23 '15 at 3:42

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