The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper discusses the fundamental determinants of inequality. These are identified as world or market forces, social norms, ownership of real and human capital, and the role of government. The change in the relative role of these factors in determining inequality during economic development is analyzed.