Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Declining International Inequality and Economic Divergence: Reviewing the Evidence Through Different Lenses

Contents:

Author Info

  • Francois Bourguignon
  • Victoria Levin
  • David Rosenblatt

Abstract

In recent years, an ample literature has emerged on the evolution of global inequality during the last two decades. A few stylized facts emerge. If one weights countries by their population, then inequality across countries has declined. However, if one treats countries equally – as in the macroeconomic convergence (divergence) literature—then there has been increasing inequality. Which view is the correct one? In this paper, we use the 2004 version of the World Bank’s World Development Indicators to re-examine the evidence over the 1980-2002 period, and the data reaffirm the two trends described above. Even if inequality declined by most common aggregate inequality indices, there is neither full Lorenz dominance of 2002 over 1980 in population-weighted terms, nor first-order dominance. The aggregate inequality indices also mask the tremendous mobility of countries, and in particular, the impoverishment of about two dozen countries at the bottom of the distribution over the period in question. Tracking mobility is a less “anonymous” approach to the analysis, and it also can explain divergent views on increasing or decreasing international inequality. If one cares only about final outcomes and not initial starting positions, then inequality decreased by most criteria. However, if mobility itself is part of the welfare criteria, and if one is willing to put more weight on those countries that have lost, then the world distribution of income has worsened.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.cepii.fr/IE/rev100/rev100a.htm
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CEPII research center in its journal Economie Internationale.

Volume (Year): (2004)
Issue (Month): 100 ()
Pages: 13-26

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:cii:cepiei:2004-4qa

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 113, rue de Grenelle, 75700 Paris SP07
Phone: 33 01 53 68 55 00
Fax: 33 01 53 68 55 01
Web page: http://www.cepii.fr
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Income distribution; inequality; convergence; mobility; growth;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Sadegh Bakhtiari & Hossein Meisami, 2010. "An empirical investigation of the effects of health and education on income distribution and poverty in Islamic countries," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(4), pages 293-301, March.
  2. Rocchi, Benedetto & Romano, Donato & Hamza, Raid, 2013. "Agriculture reform and food crisis in Syria: Impacts on poverty and inequality," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 190-203.
  3. Carolina Castaldi & Giovanni Dosi, 2008. "Technical Change and Economic Growth: Some Lessons from Secular Patterns and Some Conjectures on the Current Impact of ICT Technology," LEM Papers Series 2008/01, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  4. Bourguignon, Francois & Levin, Victoria & Rosenblatt, David, 2006. "Global redistribution of income," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3961, The World Bank.
  5. Bourguignon, François & Levin, Victoria & Rosenblatt, David, 2009. "International Redistribution of Income," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-10, January.
  6. Kym Anderson & John Cockburn & Will Martin, 2009. "Would Freeing Up World Trade Reduce Poverty and Inequality? The Vexed Role of Agricultural Distortions," Centre for International Economic Studies Working Papers 2009-05, University of Adelaide, Centre for International Economic Studies.
  7. Facundo Alvaredo & Leonardo Gasparini, 2013. "Recent Trends in Inequality and Poverty in Developing Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0151, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  8. Bou�t, Antoine, 2006. "What can the poor expect from trade liberalization?: opening the "black box" of trade modeling," MTID discussion papers 93, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. Bussolo, Maurizio & De Hoyos, Rafael E. & Medvedev, Denis, 2008. "Is the developing world catching up ? global convergence and national rising dispersion," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4733, The World Bank.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cii:cepiei:2004-4qa. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.