Rapidly Developing Countries – Set to become rich countries full of poor people?

Nice article here outlining some arguments for the continued relevance of dependency theory – ending on a particular pertinent prophecy by Joseph Stiglitz – that our world is set to become one of more rich countries full of poor people – but is this true?

Looking at the world’s 10 fastest growing economies there seems to be mixed evidence-

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If we consider the GINI inequality rankings for each of these countries, which are as follows – there is mixed evidence

Brazil scores 54 – is no. 13 in the inequality league table, and by far the largest population country up that high – so Stiglitz theory seems correct here…

China scores 47 and so has relatively high inequality, possibly reflecting the differences between the huge wealth in the East and rural poverty in the West. Then again, does this matter for development because China has a very similar level of inequality to the USA ( not that that’s a good thing of course!)

Russia scoring 40 is in mid table obscurity – so no comment for now

India scoring 33 – has low inequality, making it more equal than Britain, then again it is the poorest in terms of current GNP per capita so these levels of inequality might just reflect the fact that there are masses of poor people. Given the rapid increase in billionaires recently i don’t hold out much hope for india staying low in the inequality stakes!

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