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Do We Now Live in a More Equal World - Essay Example

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Do we now live in a more equal world? Describe the current pattern of global inequalities today, how it has evolved over the last 200 years, and why these global inequalities have occurred In any country, economic growth would mean the production of goods and services (GDP) on one hand and increasing the total income of the country (GNP) on the other hand…
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Do We Now Live in a More Equal World
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Download file to see previous pages By the end of the twentieth century, the phenomenon of global income inequality was seen to be greater than it was ever before. Global inequality has two distinct dimensions. These are the inequalities that exist between countries and the inequalities that exist within the countries. Not everyone in the developed nations, like the United States, is known to be rich and similarly not everybody in a poor country is poor. It is necessary to take these two measures together. The world was divided into three categories by the World Bank going by their income levels - low income country, middle income country and high income country (Peet & Hartwick, 1999, p.6). Global inequality affects the living condition of the poor countries. Economic growth can affect not only the GDP and GNP of a nation but its overall heath and living conditions too (Wermuth, 2003, p.22). But before framing any conclusion, it is important for the analysts to differentiate between inequality and poverty in these countries. To measure poverty, it is essential to have a poverty line which is usually set at a higher level in richer countries. As for the poorer nations, there is little income gradient in the poverty line (Ravallion, 2003, p.745). Similarly, to measure the economic indicators like GDP and GNP that help to estimate global inequality, we also need some measurement tools. GDP is measured by the production output units like bushels of wheat etc. The exchange rate mechanism is used to measure the national income or GNP (Firebaugh, 2006, pp.34-35). One of the many reasons why global inequality or world inequality is so prevalent today is the extent up to which the income and the wealth of the countries is distributed in a very uneven manner among the world's population. There is little doubt among the researchers that this income inequality that is seen both within and between the nations has been on a rise since the mid-twentieth century. It has been reported by the World Bank that the increasing gap between the rich and the poor countries over the past forty years has accounted for much of the increase in the worldwide income inequality amongst individuals and other households. Inequality patterns and consequences Globalization is divided into three patterns. These are unweighted global inequality, weighted global inequality and global inequality (Held & Kaya, 2004, p.3). In the first pattern, the mean of the country GDP across several countries are considered and population size is not taken here. The second pattern is also the same except that it takes population size into consideration. Global inequality measures difference between individuals of the world. These include intra country and inter country inequality. In 1960, the per capita GDP in the most of the richest twenty countries was found to be eighteen times than that in the poorest twenty countries. By 1995, the same gap had widened to almost thirty-seven times (World Development Report 2001). This shows that there has been a huge increase in polarization between the nations overtime (Bata,Bergesen, 2010, p.9). According to a survey, the top richest countries in the world in 2007 were Qatar, UAE, the USA, Hong Kong, Switzerland etc and the poorest countries were Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Central African Republic, Mozambique etc (The UNICEF social and economic paper, 2011, p.19). There have been many sociological ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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