The most popular curve in economics showing the dynamics between globalization and rising inequality has a Mammalia sounding name—the elephant curve.
The quirky choice of name is worth it, especially if it helps etch firmly in our heads the worrying trends of rising inequality that lurk beneath the lines: rising inequality is a threat to our democracy!
The graph was first drawn by author and former World Bank economist Branko Milanovic based on newly available data from the past 40 years on wealth and income gains. The curve depicts a trend of globalization that has reduced inequality between industrialized and emerging countries, with the highest income groups in the countries disproportionately benefiting from economic growth. Instead, middle and lower income groups were left hanging in the dirt. The story behind the curve continues with its political implications: staggering income inequality has led to migration from the poorer regions of the globe to developed countries, where right-wing populist movements have seized on this mass migration to score cheap political wins, threatening democracy as we know it.
With this in mind, the May issue of FES Connect offers updates from recent work by FES colleagues, partners and friends across the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe working to tackle the consequences of rising inequalities.
Your FES Connect Editorial Team
Connecting people, in the spirit of social democracy, we source and share content in English from the German and international network of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
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