Understanding Estimates of Economic Inequality

Publication date

27 Mar 2019

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From day to day we are confronted with headlines about inequality rising or falling. Oxfam and others have warned of high and rising extreme inequality and its undesirable impacts on poverty and social justice. In a highly political and contentious landscape, we are more empowered as activists and campaigners when we know how measures of inequality are calculated and what they tell us. Specifically, to make evidence-based arguments, we need to understand the diversity of measures and data used for capturing inequality. This guideline introduces the fundamentals of how economic inequality is estimated. This guide was originally written in 2017 and was updated in 2019.