Even as perceptions of rising inequality undermine the foundations of democracy, data on wealth and income trends remain woefully inadequate.
The rise of populist nationalism throughout the west has been fuelled partly by a clash between the objectives of equity in rich countries and higher living standards in poor countries.
Most discussion of inequality in Europe is confined to individual member states. Aggregating incomes across the EU, however, presents a sobering picture.
Worsening economic inequality in recent years is largely the result of policy choices that reflect the political influence and lobbying power of the rich.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a website collating the sources of data on inequality across the European Union and exploring evidence-based policy prescriptions? Now there is.
Those on modest incomes used to compare themselves only with those around them, muting their anger. Globalisation has raised awareness of the inequality it has fostered but has weakened the unions best placed to fight it—with inchoate rage the result. Sixty years ago, the sociologist WG Runciman published an influential study of attitudes to ’relative […]
Official EU statistics mask the alarming extent of poverty and inequality in Europe. Despite slight recent easing, its dangerous scale threatens Europe’s social and political cohesion. Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, has published official figures on pan-European poverty and inequality since 2005, in the form of the poverty rate and the S80/S20 ratio. The poverty […]
The first research papers showing that health was worse and violence more common in societies with large income differences were published in the 1970s. Since then a large body of evidence has accumulated on the damaging effects of inequality. Countries with bigger income differences between rich and poor tend to suffer from a heavier burden of a […]
The material prosperity of people consists of two main resources: income and wealth. The possession of wealth, in particular, offers extended consumption options, can make good a loss of income and secures one’s own pension – for example, via owner-occupied housing. Furthermore, it can finance the education of children and is built up to enable […]
Branko Milanovic, what is your diagnosis of global inequality as it stands and where do we stand in historical terms? Yes, let me start maybe with the historical terms first. Where we stand now is that since around 2000, global inequality has probably declined, and I have to say “probably” because obviously our data are […]