Inequality Summary: Malaysia in the Regional and Global Context
According to a study on inequality and income distribution in 141 countries between 1990-2008 by Ortiz and Cummins (2011, p.7), middle income countries appear the most unequal. They noted that the top quintile controls more than 80 percent of global income contrasted by a paltry percentage point for those at the bottom (p.19). Additionally, the Gini index trends showed that Eastern Europe/ former Soviet Union and Asia had the largest increases between 1990 and 2008. Latin America remains the region with the highest level of income inequality, although the region is marked by significant improvement since 2000. Nonetheless, the Gini measure for a few countries in Asia such as Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Mongolia noted a decline in inequality (ibid, p.27).
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