EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

A Polarization of Polarization? The Distribution of Inequality 1970-1996

Claudia Biancotti ()

No 487, Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) from Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area

Abstract: This paper presents a panel of internationally comparable Gini coefficients, based on the United Nations University/World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER) World Income Inequality Database (WIID) version 1.0. The 221 data points that match minimum requirements of spatial and temporal homogeneity cover 67 developed and developing countries and span a twenty-six year period, from 1970 to 1996. Density functions for the Gini coefficients are estimated for selected points in time in order to evaluate how the distribution of inequality has evolved in the recent past: the aim is to offer a concise description of the evolution of polarization of societies in the world. The distribution of inequality appears to be slightly bimodal at the start of the period: alongside a sizable concentration of countries with average levels of distributional asymmetry, there is a smaller one of very unequal nations, mainly located in Latin America. In the following two decades polarization levels are more homogeneous, suggesting a convergence of class structure across states. In recent times, there has been a resurgence of bimodality; the rise in the number of highly polarized, strongly conflictual societies has been driven by transition frictions in the ex-USSR area.

Keywords: Inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev and nep-mic
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-disc ... 04-0487/tema_487.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_487_04

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) from Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2020-06-02
Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_487_04