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Globalization, Poverty, and Inequality since 1980

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  • David Dollar

Abstract

One of the most contentious issues of globalization is the effect of global economic integration on inequality and poverty. This article documents five trends in the modern era of globalization, starting around 1980. The first trend is that growth rates in poor economies have accelerated and are higher than growth rates in rich countries for the first time in modern history. Developing countries' per capita incomes grew more than 3.5 percent a year in the 1990s. Second, the number of extremely poor people in the world has declined significantly--by 375 million people since 1981--for the time in history. The share of people in developing economies living on less than $1 a day has been cut in half since 1981, though the decline in the share living on less than $2 per day was much less dramatic. Third, global inequality has declined modestly, reversing a 200-year trend toward higher inequality. Fourth, within-country inequality in general is not growing, though it has risen in several populous countries (China, India, the United States). Fifth, wage inequality is rising worldwide. This may seem to contradict the fourth trend, but it does not because there is no simple link between wage inequality and household income inequality. Furthermore, the trends toward faster growth and poverty reduction are strongest in developing economies that have integrated with the global economy most rapidly, which supports the view that integration has been a positive force for improving the lives of people in developing areas. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Research Observer.

Volume (Year): 20 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 145-175

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:20:y:2005:i:2:p:145-175

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Cited by:
  1. Goto, Hideaki, 2008. "Labor Market Competitiveness and Poverty," Working Papers 51159, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  2. Christoph Schinke, 2014. "Government Ideology, Globalization, and Top Income Shares in OECD Countries," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 181, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  3. Getachew, Yoseph Yilma, 2010. "Public capital and distributional dynamics in a two-sector growth model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 606-616, June.
  4. Sapkota, Jeet Bahadur, 2011. "Impacts of globalization on quality of life: evidence from developing countries," MPRA Paper 37506, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Sumie & Mototsugu Fukushige, 2007. "Globalization and Economic Inequality in the Short and Long Run: The Case of South Korea 1975-1995," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 07-43, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  6. Wagle, Udaya R., 2007. "Are Economic Liberalization and Equality Compatible? Evidence from South Asia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 1836-1857, November.
  7. Rassekh, Farhad, 2010. "Is Stolper-Samuelson dangerous and FPE a failure?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 555-561, October.
  8. Jalil, Abdul, 2012. "Modeling income inequality and openness in the framework of Kuznets curve: New evidence from China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 309-315.
  9. Chani, Muhammad Irfan & Pervaiz, Zahid & Jan, Sajjad Ahmad & Ali, Amjad & Chaudhary, Amatul R., 2011. "Poverty, inflation and economic growth: empirical evidence from Pakistan," MPRA Paper 34290, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2011.
  10. Aylin Koç & Ahmet Yilmaz Ato & Zeynep Çirkin, 2013. "Empirical Investigation on Globalization and Social Polarization: Cross Country Analysis," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 3(1), pages 206-213.

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