Global inequality is declining – maybe

I don’t have enough time to write a full post on this, but anyone who’s interested in this blog (and my previous post on this) will surely be interested in Branko Milanovic’s new estimates of global inequality, which suggest a decline from 2008 to 2011. However, the data isn’t perfect – when is it? – and Milanovic is open about the caveats, of which the hidden wealth of the super-rich seems particularly important.  You can read the full post here.

Oh, and happy new year too!

About Ben Baumberg Geiger

I am a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) at the University of Kent. I also helped set up the collaborative research blog Inequalities, where I write articles and short blog posts. I have a wide range of research interests, at the moment focusing on disability, the workplace, inequality, deservingness and the future of the benefits system, and the relationship between evidence and policy. You can find out more about me at
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2 Responses to Global inequality is declining – maybe

  1. Andrew Pearce says:

    I read one of your 2012 articles on the widening gap between benefit claims and the estimated level of unemployment and as one of those who can’t claim would like to contribute to the welfare payments debate. The current government wants to cap benefits payments to around £26k p/y which is far more than many folk take home after tax (including myself). If you are prudent and save you are penalised because you exceed the £16k saving limits, if you work and are low paid you get less than the scroungers. There seems to be a drive to help the young and the over fifties but there is a large section of the population who are none of these things and I think their voice is not heard. We the prudent and the low paid want the scroungers with £25k+ in benefits forced into work. Why have we had to strive and these idol people get rewarded for doing nothing except having children. Why is there so much angst about the welfare cap when it seems to help only those who abuse the system? I think the days of the subclasses trying to overthrow the political elite have sadly gone in this nation so why doesn’t the government get tougher??? If any leader had the balls to say they would cap benefits to the level of that of the minimum wage they would win in a landslide in May – as the hard working vote and the scroungers don’t – What do you think? too right wing I suppose.

    • Ben Baumberg says:

      It’s not that it’s too right-wing, it’s that it’s a policy that:

      • …isn’t fair (the idea of people on benefits getting more than the average income is mainly based on a statistical sleight of hand)…
      • …is “a symbolic policy which is primarily intended to build public belief in the problem it claims to address”, as Declan Gaffney put it
      • …and had almost no impact on people getting jobs, despite the Govt trying very hard to mislead people to the contrary (as FullFact have said here

      Anyway – I haven’t even written about the benefits cap on the blog, and this is meant to be an evidence-based blog rather than a political set-to, so I’m going to leave it there!

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