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Measuring Income Inequality Database

Authors:Klaus W. Deininger
Non-Bank Author:Lyn Squire
Topics:Macroeconomic & Economic Growth  and Poverty

Deininger, Klaus and Lyn Squire, "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality", The World Bank Economic Review, 10(3): 565-91, 1996.

Abstract of Paper
This article presents a new data set on inequality in the distribution of income. The authors explain the criteria they applied in selecting data on Gini coefficients and on individual quintile groups’ income shares. Comparison of the new data set with existing compilations reveals that the data assembled here represent an improvement in quality and a significant expansion in coverage, although differences in the definition of the underlying data might still affect intertemporal and international comparability. Based on this new data set, the authors do not find a systematic link between growth and changes in aggregate inequality. They do find a strong positive relationship between growth and reduction of poverty.

This file contains data on Gini coefficients, cumulative quintile shares, explanations regarding the basis on which the Gini coefficient was computed, and the source of the information. There are two data-sets, one containing the "high quality" sample and the other one including all the information (of lower quality) that had been collected.

Field definitions and abbreviations used are as follows:
Quality, Country and country code, year, gini coefficient, cumulative quintile shares, whether the coefficient is based on income or consumption, whether -in cases where income is used- this is gross or net of taxes, the populatoin covered by the data (national for all the coefficients in the high quality set), and the sources of the data. The data distributes unevenly for 138 countries and over the period of 1890 - 1996.

Access to Dataset
  • Dataset (zipped file, 408kb)

  • Dataset (zipped self extracting file, 433kb)

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