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Global Income Inequality Down In Relative Terms: Study

A joint research has found that during the last four decades, global income inequality decreased substantially in relative terms, but increased markedly in absolute terms.

The study, by researchers from Oxford University and the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), shows that relative global inequality has declined steadily over the past few decades, from 0.739 in 1975 to 0.631 in 2010. This was driven primarily by declining inequality between countries arising from the extraordinary economic growth observed in fast developing countries, such as China and India. This trend has been achieved despite an increasing trend in inequality within countries.

In contrast, absolute inequality has increased dramatically since the mid-1970s, the study finds.

Its results are published this week in the Review of Income and Wealth.

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