Inequality in the Middle East

Survey estimates suggest that inequality in the Middle East is not particularly high despite considerable political conflict. This column uses new ‘distributional national accounts’ data to show that the Middle East is in fact the most unequal region in the world, with both enormous inequality between countries and large inequality within countries. The results emphasize the need to develop mechanisms of regional redistribution and to increase transparency on income and wealth data.  

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The Rate of Return on Everything

A new paper purports to have finally unlocked the mystery of the rate of return on capital. Here the authors report on their research on an enormous data set on asset returns for 16 advanced economies from 1870 to 2015 and provide surprising insight into the relationship between long-run growth and capital—a connection that has occupied thinkers from Mill to Marx to Piketty and many others to this day.  

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