Abstract

We present an improved panel database of national household surveys between 1988 and 2008. In 2008, the global Gini index is around 70.5%, having declined by approximately 2 Gini points. China graduated from the bottom ranks, changing a twin-peaked global income distribution to a single-peaked one and creating an important global “median” class. 90% of the fastest growing country-deciles are from Asia, while almost 90% of the worst performers are from mature economies. Another “winner” was the global top 1%. Hence the global growth incidence curve has a distinct supine S shape, with gains highest around the median and top.

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