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Global Inequality: Beyond the Bottom Billion

A Rapid Review of Income Distribution in 141 Countries - Working Paper #254

Isabel Ortiz, Matthew Cummins

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This working paper: (i) provides an overview of global, regional and national income inequalities based on the latest distribution data from the World Bank, UNU-WIDER and Eurostat; (ii) discusses the negative implications of rising income inequality for development; (iii) calls for placing equity at the center of development in the context of the United Nations development agenda; (iv) describes the likelihood of inequalities being exacerbated during the global economic crisis; (v) advocates for urgent policy changes at national and international levels to ensure a “Recovery for All”; and, (vi) to serve as a general reference source, Annex 2 provides a summary of the most up-to-date income distribution and inequality data for 141 countries.

About the Authors

Isabel Ortiz
Global Social Justice Program Director
Initiative for Policy Dialogue

Isabel Ortiz is Director of the Global Social Justice Program at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University. Earlier, she was Associate Director of Policy at UNICEF, and senior advisor at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and at the Asian Development Bank. She has worked in more than 30 countries, providing advisory services to governments and development institutions, among them, DFID, the European Commission, KfW, UNDP and the World Bank. She has a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, and has written 50 publications translated in several languages.

Matthew Cummins
Social Policy and Economic Specialist
UNICEF

Matthew Cummins leads research and is an advisor on real-time monitoring, fiscal space and social budgeting issues, as well as on designing policies to protect children and poor households from the impacts of macroeconomic shocks. He has worked on social policy issues for more than ten years with the Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, U.S. Peace Corps and the World Bank. He holds a MA in International Economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS and has published widely in international development books and journals.

Publication Information

Type Working Paper
Program Global Social Justice
Posted 04/01/11
Download 1.66mb pdf
# Pages 65