Ho-fung Hung receives Best Article Award

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Ho-fung Hung and Jaime Kucinskas. 2011. “Globalization and Global Inequality: Assessing the Impact of the Rise of China and India, 1980–2005.” American Journal of Sociology, 116:5.

Hung and Kucinskas look at whether global economic integration enlarges or reduces global inequality. Their analysis is based on an innovative strategy that combines change in average intra-national inequality and international inequality to assess the net change in global inequality in 1980-2005. They find that overall global inequality has been unambiguously decreasing, and that the global-inequality-reducing effect of globalization can be explained largely by the fact that the rise of China and India, two population and economic giants in the global economy, has been dragging down international inequality must faster than the rise of internal inequality within the two nations and elsewhere under globalization. But the study also projects that in the next two decades, global inequality is set to rise again, either when economic growth in China/India inevitably slows down or when either one of them inevitably passes the threshold of middle-income country. This means that the global-inequality-reducing effect of the rise of China and India is temporary, unless in the implausible scenario that the two countries’ stellar economic performance could be replicated in most other developing countries. So, in the long run, the rise of global inequality since the nineteenth-century industrial revolution is not likely to be reversed significantly by globalization.