Spoiler: It's not the rise of populism. What does the elephant chart really tell us?

Economist Branko Milanovic's famous elephant chart has become a graph used to explain everything from Brexit to Trump and the election victory of the Finns Party. According to the chart, globalisation has benefited the middle classes in growing economies while the lower-middle classes in rich countries have suffered. However, the graph is not perfect. The reason behind populism is not faceless globalisation but the policies of nation-states. Global income distribution does matter, but not in the way suggested by the elephant chart. (...)