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Is Economic Growth Good For The Poor? Tracking Low Incomes Using General Means

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  • James E. Foster
  • Miguel Székely

Abstract

We propose the use of an alternative methodology to track low incomes based on Atkinson's "equally distributed equivalent income" functions or "general means" and present a new characterization to justify their application. To evaluate the effects of growth on lower incomes, growth rates are compared for two income standards: the ordinary mean and a low-income-sensitive general mean. The question is: How closely related are these two variables? After estimating the growth elasticity, we find that it is not significantly different from zero. Thus, it cannot be concluded that poorer incomes grow proportionately to increases in the average income. Copyright � (2008) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 49 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1143-1172

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:49:y:2008:i:4:p:1143-1172

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  1. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 1997. "What Can New Survey Data Tell Us about Recent Changes in Distribution and Poverty?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 357-82, May.
  2. Panizza, Ugo, 2002. " Income Inequality and Economic Growth: Evidence from American Data," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 25-41, March.
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  9. Angus Deaton, 2000. "Counting the world’s poor: problems and possible solutions," Working Papers 212, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  10. Ahluwalia, Montek S., 1976. "Inequality, poverty and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 307-342, December.
  11. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  12. Foster, James E & Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1988. "Poverty Orderings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 173-77, January.
  13. Charles Blackorby & David Donaldson & Maria Auersperg, 1981. "A New Procedure for the Measurement of Inequality within and among Population Subgroups," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 14(4), pages 665-85, November.
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