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Anthea Roberts
Canberra, Australia
RegNet School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University
Interests: Public International Law, International Economic Law, Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration, Comparative International Law, International Law and China
Recent Activity
Thanks to both of you for these comments. There has been a really good debate between different economists about the various causes of the elephant graph's shape. The links in para 7 provide a good background on the various other factors that Freund identifies followed by a very good response by Milanovic and Lakner about how these points are reflected in their original book and do not change much of the underlying analysis in terms of the developing world having had a very high rate of growth and the lower to mid-levels of the developed world having a very low rate of growth during this period. Correlation does not equal causation because other factors also play into the mix, but Milanovic and Lakner provide a good analysis of why the basic structure of economic globalization has helped to produce this result in the last two decades. That is the basic idea that Krugman identifies. I should also note that the big winners of this globalization have been the global 1%. The middle income countries may have seen a high percentage rise in their basic incomes, but the incomes levels were very low to begin with. The global 1% have seen a very high percentage rise in their basic incomes but those incomes were much higher to start with. This means that, although relative inequality has decreased during this period, absolute inequality has increased. This then leads to a question about whether it is more important to measure relative or absolute inequality, but that is an issue for another post!
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