Global inequality has often been measured from the standpoint of the developed versus the developing countries; what is otherwise known captured in the development study literature as the UN Human Development Index.
Invariably, the picture that one obtains is global inequality from the standpoint of two clusters of countries; arrayed against each other diametrically. The rich versus the poor.
While the data from the above is useful, it isn't enough to give a complete picture of globalization. One, to what degree has inequality increased within a country, even rich ones ?
Two, to what further extent, has the inequality been rolled back to 1900, as Richard Baldwin argues, is now the case. Three, more importantly, can the inequality be resolved with any policy measures both within countries, and between them ? Are they in need of a UN Global Compact, as the late former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, once insisted they do ?
In the UN Global Compact, multinationals from across the globe are encouraged by UN to pledge themselves to the best corporate and human development practices of the UN.
If one, however, were to do away with the UN Global Compact, so advised by the Global Reporting Initiative, an non governmental organization, then what are the newer ways to understand if the corporate sector has been making any contributions at all ? Global Reporting Initiative believes, with or without UN, once companies understand the importance of their corporate social responsibilities, they can begin to conform to the best practices. There is no need to over zealously follow what UN Global Compact demands, if one can hold one's company to even more exacting standards.
Thus, this book provides a slew of empirical data on how these issues can be approached. By so doing, it concludes without a major doubt, that global inequality is increasing within and between nations since the end of the Cold War.
Surplus labor from China and India have driven the wages down. To the degree the creme de la creme from these markets have risen to the top, their vast numbers have displaced the hitherto well paid income earners in smaller countries, especially the member states of ASEAN.
Singapore, in particular, has deployed the talents of China and India aggressively, while neglecting the local talents at work. Not surprisingly, the income gaps between different classes of people in the city state, have widened significantly.
The latter has triggered a paper-chase. Students and adult learners have had to buck the "Chindian" on-slaught by studying more than they should or perhaps could afford.
Indeed, some locals in Singapore have pursued more degrees and disciplines.
Some have even combined law, political science and economics to enhance one's employment prospect in the market place; as is the pathway offered by the Singapore Management University. These are the tensions, not mentioned specifically in the book, but carefully teased out in various sections of the work.