Measuring Inequality in the Middle East 1990-2016: The World's Most Unequal Region?

Facundo Alvaredo, Lydia Assaouad, Thomas Piketty, World Wealth and Income Database, 2017

In recent decades, the Middle East was the scene of dramatic political events: wars, invasions, revolutions and various attempts to redraw the regional political map. It is natural to ask whether this high level of political instability is related to the specific structure and level of socio-economic inequality in this region. Unfortunately, available evidence on inequality in the Middle East and how it compares to other world regions is relatively scarce.


This paper attempts to combine available data sources in a systematic manner in order to provide novel estimates of the distribution of income in the Middle East between 1990 and 2016.


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