Survey estimates suggest that inequality in the Middle East is not particularly high despite considerable political conflict. This VoxEU column uses new ‘distributional national accounts’ data to show that the Middle East is in fact the most unequal region in the world, with both enormous inequality between countries and large inequality within countries. The results emphasise the need to develop mechanisms of regional redistribution and to increase transparency on income and wealth data.
Thomas PikettyProfessor, Paris School of Economics; and CEPR
Thomas Piketty is Professor of Economics at the Paris School of Economics, of which he was the founder and first Director from 2005 and 2007. He is the author of numerous articles published in journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Political Economy, the American Economic Review and the Review of Economic Studies, and of a dozen books. He has done major empirical and theoretical work on the interplay between economic development and the distribution of income and wealth. He is the initiator of the recent literature on the historical evolution of top income shares (now available in the World Top Incomes Database).