Has the Gap Between the Rich and the Poor Worldwide Grown Larger Over the Centuries?
Martin Wolfe, in the London Financial Times (Oct. 1, 2004):
According to the economic historian Angus Maddison, in 1820 the world's most advanced economy was about five times as rich as its poorest. By 1913, this ratio was perhaps 13 to one. By 1950, it had reached 33 to one. Today, the combination of continuing growth in the world's richest country, the US, with burgeoning population and constant warfare in what may well be its poorest, the Democratic Republic of Congo, has brought this ratio to above 100 to one. The world's jurisdictional disintegration creates two big challenges for its integrating economy.