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Global inequality and global inequality extraction ratio: The story of the last two centuries

Milanovic, Branko (2009): Global inequality and global inequality extraction ratio: The story of the last two centuries.

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Abstract

Using social tables, we make an estimate of global inequality (inequality among world citizens) in early 19th century. We then show that the level and composition of global inequality have changed over the last two centuries. The level has increased reaching a high plateau around 1950s, and the main determinants of global inequality have become differences in mean country incomes rather than inequalities within nations. The inequality extraction ratio (the percentage of total inequality that was extracted by global elites) has remained surprisingly stable, at around 70 percent of the maximum global Gini, during the last 100 years.

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