Branko Milanovic - Global Income Inequality Today

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Mr. Milanovic defined global inequality for the audience as income inequality between world citizens, where the world is looked at as one country. Although overall global inequalities are increasing, the rapid growth of countries such as China and India are actually reducing global inequalities. In the past global inequality has been due to the class a person is in, but recently inequalities have become based on the location one resides in.

Milsnovic concluded his talk by linking the global inequality with the current economic crisis. He noted that the history of past crises have shown that the first to be affected are the rich, but that ultimately the middle and lower classes are affected the most. This is why he feels that the problem of global inequality does in fact matter. The larger gaps in income inequality ultimately lend to people being discontented and restless with their governments. This can lead to numerous social problems including riots and mass migration. Global income inequality is important issue that affects all of us whether we realize it or not. Because this issue is so globally important we must start facing and addressing it.

Branko Milanovic is lead economist at the World Bank Research Department in the unit dealing with poverty, income distribution and household surveys; senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington; adjunct professor at the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and College Park Professor, University of Maryland. Ph. D. in economics (income distribution) from University of Belgrade, 1987.

Milanovic is the author of many articles on methodology and empirics of global inequality, effects of globalization, poverty and social policy in transition economies. His publications include Income and Influence: Social Policy in Emerging Market Economies (co-authored with Ethan Kapstein), Upjohn 2003 and Income, Inequality, and Poverty during the Transition from Planned to Market Economy, World Bank, 1998. His most recent book on global income inequality, Worlds Apart: Measuring International and Global Inequality, Princeton University Press came out in 2005. It has been translated into Chinese, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Serbian and Korean (forthcoming).

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