Working Paper Series
Global Earnings Inequality, 1970–2015
() and Daniel Waldenström
Abstract: We estimate trends in global earnings dispersion across
occupational groups using a new database covering 66 developed and
developing countries between 1970 and 2015. Our main finding is that global
earnings inequality has declined, primarily during the 2000s, when the
global Gini coefficient dropped nearly 10 points and the earnings share of
the world’s poorest half doubled. Decomposition analyses emphasize the role
of income convergence between poor and rich countries and that earnings
have become more similar within occupations in traded industries.
Sensitivity checks show that the results are robust to varying real
exchange rates, inequality measures and population definitions.
Keywords: Global inequality; Development; Inequality decomposition; Labor markets; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: D31; F01; O15; (follow links to similar papers)
73 pages, May 5, 2017
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