Why does inequality differ so much across countries? Why does the size of middle class and the gap between rich and poor families (i.e. polarization) vary so much across countries? This dissertation originated as an attempt to understand these phenomena among Asian developing countries (China, India, and Indonesia) using individual and household level data. These countries account for more than a quarter of the global economy and comprise 40% of the world population with a heterogeneous society. Practically, this dissertation enriches the discussion in reducing inequality (i.e., sustainable development goals). Furthermore, the dissertation has a significant contribution in assessing the potential effect of the informal sector, taxes and subsidy system, and ethnicity to inequality and polarization.
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- Inequality, income gap, Development, Informal sector, SDGs