INEQUALITY AROUND THE WORLD

How does the amount of inequality in the United States compare to that in other countries This question is interesting, but answering it is problematic. For some countries, data are not available Even when they are, not every country collects data in the same way; for example, some countries collect data on individual incomes, whereas other countries collect data on family incomes, and still others collect data on expenditure rather than income. As a result, whenever we find a difference between two countries we can never be sure whether it reflects a true difference in the economies or merely a difference in the way data are collected With this warning in mind, consider Table 3, which compares inequality in twelve countries The countries are ranked from the most equal to the most unequal. On the top of the list is Japan where the richest fifth of the population has income only 3.4 times that of the poorest fifth. On the bottom of the list.

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