In the fall of 2007, when the U.S. economy first seemed in peril, I began answering reader queries here on the Business Desk. I still do so occasionally, but this page has expanded to include posts from eminent economists, "far-flung correspondents," and a variety of voices that have intriguing and/or useful things to say about economics, broadly defined. Please feel encouraged to respond to any and all of them.
World Inequality: Trot the Globe Without Leaving Your Seat
To accompany our ongoing NewsHour series on economic inequality, we present today an interactive world inequality map based on data from the World Bank. We confess; this isn't exactly "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" But this quiz will test your inequality intuition about different places around the world, and playing around with the graphic will give you a sense of how income is distributed around the globe in 2011.
The Gini coefficient measures a country's distribution of income, where '0' represents total equality (all income is equally distributed among the population), and '1' represents total inequality (one person holds all the income). In the infographic, the figure is expressed as a percentage.
We've broken the Gini index down into 10 equal slices -- the top 10 percent of countries in terms of equality, the second most equal 10 percent, and so on, down to the most UNequal 10 percent. These so-called "deciles" are color-coded on the left. Clicking on a country in the graphic above will reveal its Gini coefficient, as well as countries that have similar income inequality. These countries appear on the map with the same color, and are also listed along with their corresponding coefficients.