A widening global divide? A bipolarization analysis

Mardi | 2019-02-07
Salle des thèses 16h – 17h20


In contrast to reported improvements in world inequality, we document the decline of the world middle class between 2002 and 2012, as interpreted by the bipolarization approach. Using a balanced panel of countries representing more than 80% of the world’s population, we find that reduced inequality within the world’s bottom 50% is the main driver of higher relative bipolarization; while that inequality reduction among the bottom 50% together with a widening gap in mean income between the world’s top and bottom halves help explain the observed rise in absolute bipolarization. The crucial role of Chinese and Indian economic progresses is also underlined.