Conventional wisdom on international development holds that "the rich get richer while the poor get poorer." This saying does not capture exactly what has happened between the rich and poor regions of the world over the past century, but it comes pretty close. In general, poor areas of the world have not become poorer, but their per capita income has grown quite slowly. On the other hand, income in the club of rich countries (Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand), has increased at a much more rapid pace. As a result, by 1980 an unprecedented level of worldwide inequality had developed.