Stephen Jenkins on the World Income Inequality Database

The Society for the Study of Economic Inequality has commissioned a series of papers appraising databases containing information about inequality in different countries and globally.These evaluations are forthcoming in a special issue of The Journal of Economic Inequality.

Professor Stephen Jenkins of the London School of Economics evaluated the WIID (World Income Inequality Database) and the SWIID (Standardized World Income Inequality Database) datasets for the issue. The working paper version of his article is now available, and the Journal Article is here. Professor Jenkins, based on his careful analysis of the two data sets, recommends using the WIID rather than the SWIID, but he also underlines that researchers need to be transparent in choosing which series in the WIID they use. We share his view that researchers need to be explicit in the choices they make when they use the WIID.

His appraisal of the WIID was based on an earlier version (WIID2.0c), and it contained many useful suggestions on how to improve the usability and the contents of the data set. UNU-WIDER has taken into account these helpful suggestions in the latest version of the data set, WIID3.0b. The separate letter below documents how the Institute responded to the specific comments by Professor Jenkins.

WIID revisions by Professor Jenkins.pdf

Go to the WIID page