Has anyone ever done a global or regional time series of the Gini coefficient* mapped against the current ideological faction** in power?

The more countries in the time series, the more informative the time series could be (by virtue of a larger sample size).

I'd love to know how strong the (presumably time delayed) correlation is.

* Or the rate of change of the coefficient.
** Along a classical left-right spectrum for simplicity and the existing over-abundance of dichotomic literature.

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    Good question. Obviously you have to be careful about extrapolating conclusions from a correlation like that, but that graph would be interesting. Mind you, because (at least in America) wealth inequality has been steadily rising for about half a century, I'm not sure you'd find a meaningful correlation. – Avi Oct 19 '13 at 17:09
  • More informative times series for countries with steadily rising values would be the rate of change of the coefficient, but that would require complex maths and extrapolations to make up for the lack of sufficiently granular data (e.g. tax returns/bank account balances are private so you need to extrapolate wealth through carefully selected market signals). – LateralFractal Oct 19 '13 at 21:56
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    "presumably time delayed" is the crux. Clinton benefitted economically from both Reagan's winning cold war and building up the military (by being able to spend a LOT less on defence) and from being in the right place and time to both benefit from dot-com economic boom AND escape the bust (which hurt Bush instead, despite being nothing caused by Bush). Plenty of actions have direct and indirect effect that are greatly time delayed, due to various economics factors. – user4012 Oct 20 '13 at 22:06
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    Also, how do you deal with (what in US is a predominant state) of divided government? Both Bush and Reagan mostly dealt with D-dominated congress, Clinton vice versa. Or left+right coalitions? – user4012 Oct 20 '13 at 22:16
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    @Avi - that presupposes that you can accurately attribute impact. Not always possible, especially once you wise up to second and third order impacts. – user4012 Oct 21 '13 at 4:43

I did a terrible version just because I wanted to. I cannot find any graphs that have a shred of scientific accuracy about them. This is drawing on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics about inequality and the Gini coefficient over time in Australia. Line segments in blue are periods of conservative government rule(Liberal/National parties) while segments in red are periods of left-wing(ish) rule (Labor Party). Labor vs Liberal parties on Gini Coefficient

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