Skip to Main Navigation

COVID-19 and Global Income Inequality

March 3, 2021



VIDEO Mar 03, 2021

Watch the replay


Read the paper: COVID-19 and global income inequality [PDF]

Stay tuned for more high-profile speakers in the Poverty & Equity Seminar series, and in the ECA Talks.

  • There is a widespread belief that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased global income inequality, reducing per capita incomes by more in poor countries than in rich. This supposition is reasonable but false. Rich countries have experienced more deaths per head than have poor countries — their better health systems, higher incomes, more capable governments and better preparedness notwithstanding. Country by country, international income inequality decreased. When countries are weighted by population, international income inequality increased, not because the poorest countries diverged from the richest countries, but because China — no longer a poor country — had few deaths and positive economic growth, pulling it away from poor countries. 

  • Sir Angus Deaton

    Senior Scholar and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University

    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

    Co-chair - Chief Economist, Europe and Central Asia

    Carolina Sánchez-Páramo

    Co-chair - Global Director, Poverty and Equity Global Practice

    Francisco Ferreira

    Discussant - Amartya Sen Professor of Inequality Studies and Director, International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics

    Mamta Murthi

    Discussant - Vice President, Human Development