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World Inequality Report 2022

The Indian Express

9 Dec 2021

GS paper 3 Economics

    The World Inequality Lab, a research centre at the Paris School of Economics, released the 2022 World Inequality Report (WIR) on December 7, 2021 is co authored by economist and co-director of the World Inequality Lab, Lucas Chancel, along with economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

    Findings with respect to India:
    India came out as a “poor and very un- equal country, with an affluent elite”, where the top 10% holds 57% of the total national income, including 22% held by the top 1%, while the bottom 50% holds just 13% in 2021 as per the report.

    India’s middle class is relatively poor with an average wealth of Rs 7,23,930, or 29.5% of the total national in- come, compared with the top 10% and 1% who own 65% (Rs 63,54,070) and 33% (Rs 3,24,49,360), respectively.

    The average annual national income of the Indian adult population is Rs 2,04,200 in 2021

    The report further says that, the share of the top 10% and bottom 50% in pre-tax national income has remained broadly constant since 2014. The quality of inequality data released by the government has seriously deteriorated, making it particlarly difficult to assess recent inequality changes

    Finding with respect to World:
    Globally, the poorest half of the population “barely owns any wealth” at just 2% of the total, whereas the richest 10% owns 76%, the report says. The richest 10% currently takes 52% of global income, and the poorest earns just 8%

    It notes that global income and wealth inequalities are “tightly connected to ecological inequalities and to inequalities in contributions to climate change”. The top 10% of emitters is responsible for close to 50% of all emissions, while the bottom 50% contributes 12%.

    Other type of Inequality:

    Women’s share of total incomes from work was about 30% in 1990, and is less than 35% now.Inequalities within countries are now greater than those between countries. Within countries, the gap between the aver- age incomes of the top 10% and the bottom 50% almost doubled from 18 times in 1820 to 41 times in 1910, reached an all-time high of 53 in 1980 and 50 in 2000, before declining to 38 in 2020.

    Way forward:
    The report has suggested levying a modest progressive wealth tax on multimillionaires.

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