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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I'm Rich! (But So Are Most of Us)

Chris at Crooked Timber just found out he's in the top 1%:

I don’t feel rich. In fact, I know a lot of people who are richer than I am. Many of them live in my street; some of them work in my department. But when I take the GlobalRichList test I come out well into the top 1 per cent of earners in the world. That’s right, well over 99 per cent of the world’s population earn less than I do. Matthew Yglesias wrote the other day about income distribution in the US and the psychological mechanisms that mean that people misperceive their own place in that distribution...

Click here for the whole article.

While we often hear people talking about the differences in wealth between the "rich" and the "poor" in America, there si more variation between countries than there is within America - even the poorest Americans would be in the top ranks on a worldwide basis. For example, an individual making $12,000 per year (roughly minimum wage) would be in the 87th percentile of the world income distribution, while an individual making $40,000 per year (not uncommon for a good student fresh out of finance program) would be in the top 3%.

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