Inequality has been blamed for many of the challenges faced by contemporary societies. But has inequality around the world actually worsened? A close examination of the data that distinguishes inequality between countries from inequality within countries tells a story of striking contrasts.
In this Policy Research Talk, World Bank economist Christoph Lakner will discuss the latest evidence on inequality around the world, drawing in part on the 2016 Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report. Global inequality—defined as the inequality between all persons in the world irrespective of their country of residence—has fallen recently. This welcome trend has been driven by a decline in inequality between countries. However, the evidence on within-country inequality is more mixed. Lakner will also discuss measurement challenges, in particular the likely underrepresentation of the richest in household surveys.