Much has been made of the headline from the recent Oxfam report on global wealth inequality (bp-working-for-few-political-capture-economic-inequality-200114-summ-en.) that revealed that the richest 85 people in the world are worth more than the poorest 3.5 billion.
The Oxfam data are actually taken from Credit Suisse’s 2013 global wealth report (global_wealth_report_2013.) But again this report comes from the earlier study by UN economists Tony Shorrocks (a former university colleague of mine) and Jim Davies using the UN wealth database. I reported on this study back in October (see post, (http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/global-wealth-inequality-10-own-86-1-own-41-half-own-just-1/).
It’s funny that it takes a report by Oxfam, the anti-poverty charity, to cause a stir about data that have been available for months. Ezra Klein has pointed out some of the key facts in the Credit Suisse/UN study taken up by Oxfam (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/01/22/10-startling-facts-about-global-wealth-inequality/?wprss=rss_ezra-klein&clsrd). Klein notes that Switzerland leads in average wealth, with each…
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