Inequality Among Countries in the World
When we speak of unequal nations in the world, we speak of inequality between their average incomes or GDPs per person.1
Although such inequalities have always been present—the Roman Empire was richer, in per capita terms, than the Goths who brought it down—the differences between nations were rather small compared to what they are today. It could hardly be otherwise because most nations before the nineteenth century were barely at the subsistence level. The large differences in mean incomes between countries are the product of the Industrial Revolution, which was akin to a Big Bang that pushed some countries forward onto the path to higher incomes while others stayed ...