Monday, May 16, 2011

Pakistan: Gini Index

Lieven keeps promoting the idea that income inequality in Pakistan is less than in India, and that too because of its social structure where kinship is very important, and kinship responsibilities serve to redistribute income.

The problem is that it doesn't seem to be borne out by published material.  I have not been able to find the original reports mentioned here, but for example:

According to a US State Department report, released in 2006, the Gini Coefficient for Pakistan is 68.0. According to the same report, the 'Gini Index' for Japan is 14.9, for Sweden is 21.0, for Switzerland is 21.1, for Germany is 22.3, for the United Kingdom is 23.0, for Canada is 23.1, for France is 32.7, for Iran is 41.0, for the United States is 46.6, for Argentina is 52.2, for Mexico is 54.6, for South Africa is 57.8 and for Namibia is 70.7. According to another United Nations report, from 1987 to 1999, the Gini Coefficient for Pakistan was in the range of 0.33 to 0.43, but it increased to 0.68 in 2006, yet the previous government kept on harping the tune of a 'wonderful' economic turnaround.

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