Sustainable Development Goals and Income Inequality
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Sustainable Development Goals and Income Inequality

Edited by Peter A.G. van Bergeijk and Rolph van der Hoeven

This timely book documents and analyses the seriousness of growing national inequality in different regions around the world. It argues that the treatment of inequality in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is wholly insufficient due to their failure to recognise the growing difference between the income of work and the income of capital and the super rich, and the strain this places on a country’s social fabric.
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Chapter 5: Global inequality and global poverty since the Cold War: how robust is the optimistic narrative?

Peter Edward and Andy Sumner

Abstract

Peter Edward and Andy Sumner discuss the growth in global consumption since the end of the Cold War. They argue that the dominant and optimistic narrative on globalization is considerably more methodologically fragile than it at first seems. The fall in inequality is almost exclusively attributable to the effect that the rise of China has had on between-country inequality. Changes in global inequality across the rest of the world are much more modest. Edward and Sumner suggest therefore that the dominant or optimistic narrative, of falling poverty and an emerging ‘middle class’ largely free from the threat of poverty, disguises both considerable growth in the size of the ‘global precariat’ living in conditions that most in the developed world would consider to be well below ‘middle class’ and an erosion of the financial security of a significant proportion of those living at higher consumption levels.

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