Lessons for the U.S. on Inequality

What countries like the U.S. should learn from the developing world about closing the gap between rich and poor
Illustration by Topos Graphics

On Feb. 29 the World Bank announced that the proportion of the planet’s population living in absolute poverty—on less than $1.25 a day—had halved from 1990 to 2010. That rate of poverty reduction is unprecedented, driven by rapid rates of economic growth in poor countries from China to Ghana. Yet despite the huge progress against poverty worldwide, inequality—the gap between rich and poor within countries—has been expanding. Recent analysis by economists Isabel Ortiz and Matthew Cummins at Unicef suggests about two-thirds of all countries have become more unequal over the past two decades.

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