World on the Move: The Changing Global Income Distribution and Its Implications for Consumption Patterns and Public Policies

Tomas Hellebrandt (PIIE) and Paolo Mauro (PIIE)
Policy Brief
November 2015

In the next two decades, hundreds of millions of people in emerging economies are projected to reach income levels at which they will be able to afford cars and air travel. As purchasing power increases worldwide, people will spend proportionately less on food and beverages and more on transportation. Higher spending on transportation, especially in China, India, and Sub-Saharan Africa, will increase pressures on the infrastructure in these economies and aggravate global climate change. Governments will need to respond to these challenges in a fiscally sustainable and environmentally responsible way.

Data disclosure: The data underlying the figures in this analysis are available here [zip].