Book Excerpt: Global Inequality—A New Approach for the Age of Globalization

In Global Inequality, international economist Branko Milanovic offers a set of new frameworks for approaching income and wealth differences around the world and critiques of several established ones. In a chapter on economic disparities between countries, for example, he questions the logic of only promoting equality among a country’s citizens without accounting for the effects of inequality between those citizens and residents of other countries—who may seek to immigrate.

In this excerpt, Milanovic suggests that we should stop focusing so exclusively on “existential inequality” (that is, unequal treatment based on gender, race, orientation, and so on) or “horizontal inequality” (differing economic status based on demographic factors alone). Instead, he says, we should devote more attention to addressing the huge wealth differences within societies overall, which he argues are the root cause of these other inequalities.


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