October 3, 2017
Written by WID.world

New paper on inequality in the Middle East

This new paper by F. Alvaredo, L. Assouad and T. Piketty, “Measuring Inequality in the Middle East, 1990-2016: The World’s Most Unequal Region?”, WID.world Working Paper 2017/15, combines national accounts, survey and fiscal data  in order to provide consistent series on income inequality in the Middle East from 1990 to 2016.

HIGHLIGHTS: According to the benchmark series, the Middle East appears to be the most unequal region in the world, with a top decile income share as large as 61% of national income, as compared to 36% in Western Europe, 47% in the USA and 55% in Brazil. This is due both to enormous inequality between countries (particularly between oil-rich and population-rich countries) and to large inequality within countries (which we probably under-estimate, given the limited access to proper fiscal data).

The associated Appendix is available here and the data files can be downloaded here.