[UNDP Report] The report makes the basic point that in spite of the impressive progress humanity has made on many fronts over the decades, it still remains deeply divided. Key messages of the report are:
During the last two decades, income inequality has significantly increased in many countries. On average — and taking into account population size — income inequality increased by 11 percent in developing countries between 1990 and 2010. A significant majority of households in developing countries — more than 75 percent of the population — are living today in societies where income is more unequally distributed than it was in the 1990s.
Increases in income inequality over the last 20 years have been largely driven by broad globalization processes, but domestic policy choices have played an important role, too. Evidence shows that increases in inequality over the last two decades were mainly on account of trade and financial globalization processes that weakened the bargaining position of relatively immobile labour vis-à-vis fully mobile capital. Trade and financial globalization were also accompanied by skill-biased technical change that further increased wage inequality by driving up wage skill premiums. Moreover, national policy choices have exacerbated the adverse effect of globalization on income distribution.