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Lifting the Lid on Global Inequality

The reality captured by the World Inequality Report 2022 reflects human choices, which means that it can be changed by making other choices. That is why the report is not just a valuable compendium of useful data and analysis but also a guide to action.

NEW DELHI – The World Inequality Report 2022, produced by the Paris-based World Inequality Lab, is a remarkable document for many reasons – starting with its demonstration of the immense power of patient collective research.

The report provides the latest estimates, based on careful aggregation of national data from a multitude of sources, of income and wealth inequality at the national, regional, and global level. It gives long-run time-series data for these indicators, allowing us to consider recent patterns in a broader historical context. And it expands on different dimensions of inequality in revealing new ways.

Any research enterprise as ambitious as this one will inevitably elicit quibbles about the datasets used, the assumptions required to generate particular series, and the ways in which some data gaps have been filled. My own minor criticism relates to the World Inequality Lab’s use of purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates to determine and compare national incomes across countries.

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