Researchers at the Brookings Institution, a major US think-tank, have published a new paper in which it is claimed that Swaziland is the most unequal country in the world in terms of income distribution.
The research uses the Gini co-efficient, the most commonly used measure of inequality. But it employs an innovative method to adjust the Ginis for missing top incomes (a well-established problem faced by inequality researchers).
In a report launched in early May, Oxfam argued that ‘high levels of inequality across Africa have prevented much of the benefits of recent growth from reaching the continent’s poorest people’.
Recent years have witnessed the publication of a number of significant books on economic inequality. These include ‘Capital in the 21st Century’ by Thomas Piketty, ‘Inequality: What Can Be Done?’ by the late Tony Atkinson and ‘Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization’ by Branko Milanovic (whose work has influenced the Brookings researchers).