Income Inequality in India

(2013) Vanneman, Reeve and Amaresh Dubey. "Income Inequality in India." Pages 439-458 in Janet Gornick and Markus Jantti (eds.), Income Inequality: Economic Disparities and the Middle Class in Affluent Countries, Stanford CA: Stanford University Press.


New LIS income data for India confirm that the income inequality Gini for India (0.48) is in the same range as for other low- and middle-income countries. Earlier estimates for Indian inequality have been lower because they were based on expenditure data. Separate estimates for 22 Indian states and state groups reveal a wide range of both income levels and income inequality. Nevertheless, all Indian states have lower incomes and more income inequality than any high-income LIS country. Across Indian states, income inequality is not closely related to income levels; nor are income inequality and income levels closely related among high-income countries. Nevertheless, because all high-income LIS countries have lower income inequality than any Indian state or other middle-income country, globally there is a strong negative correlation linking lower incomes with more inequality.

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