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rodrik162_andrey popov_getty images_inequality Andrey Popov/Getty Images

国家内和国家间收入差距,谁更值得担忧?

坎布里奇—在每年秋天的第一课,我都会用下面的问题调动学生:在富国当穷人好,还是在穷国当富人好?这个问题通常会带来大量没有结论的争论。但我们可以设计一个更有组织的有限版的问题,这个问题可以有明确的答案。

让我们把注意力缩小,集中在收入上,假定人们只关注自己的消费水平(忽略不平等性和其他社会条件)。位于收入分布顶端的5%定义为“富”,底端5%定义为“穷”。在典型的富国中,5%最穷的人大约可获得1%的国民收入。穷国的数据较少,但八九不离十的假设是最富的5%获得25%的国民收入。

类似地,假设富国和穷国也分别是位于人均收入分布顶部和底部5%的国家。在典型的穷国(如利比里亚和尼日尔),人均收入大约为1,000美元,而典型的富国(如瑞士或挪威)人均收入为65,000美元。(收入根据生活成本即购买力调整,其差异可以直接比较。)

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  1. skidelsky147_Christoph Soederpicture alliance via Getty Images_policechristmasmarketgermany Christoph Soeder/picture alliance via Getty Images

    The Terrorism Paradox

    Robert Skidelsky

    As the number of deaths from terrorism in Western Europe declines, public alarm about terrorist attacks grows. But citizens should stay calm and not give governments the tools they increasingly demand to win the “battle” against terrorism, crime, or any other technically avoidable misfortune that life throws up.