The World Inequality Lab has released the World Inequality Report 2018.
What is the World Inequality Lab?
The World Inequality Lab aims to promote research on global inequality dynamics. Its core mission is to maintain and expand the World Wealth and Income Database. It also produces inequality reports and working papers addressing substantive and methodological issues.
Who is involved?
The lab includes several prominent academics. The executive committee consists of:
- Facundo AlvaredoFacundo Alvaredo PARIS SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, OXFORD UNIVERSITY AND CONICET
- Lucas Chancel PARIS SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND IDDRI SCIENCES PO
- Thomas Piketty PARIS SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND ECOLE DES HAUTES ETUDES EN SCIENCES SOCIALES
- Emmanuel Saez UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY
- Gabriel Zucman UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY
What does the report say?
The introductory page on the website provides a very useful summary. Some key points are:
- Shows that income inequality has increased in nearly all world regions in recent decades, but at different speeds.
- The global top 1% earners has captured twice as much of that growth as the 50% poorest individuals.
- Shows that since 1980, very large transfers of public to private wealth occurred in nearly all countries, whether rich or emerging. While national wealth has substantially increased, public wealth is now negative or close to zero in rich countries.
- Projects income and wealth inequality up to 2050 under different scenarios. In a future in which “business as usual” continues, global inequality will further increase. Alternatively, if in the coming decades all countries follow the moderate inequality trajectory of Europe over the past decades, global income inequality can be reduced—in which case there can also be substantial progress in eradicating global poverty.