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Miserly Developments

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  • Jo Thori Lind
  • Karl Moene

Abstract

We measure the level of poverty in the midst of affluence using what we denote the miser index. We calculate the index of poverty-induced polarisation for a number of countries. The most miserly countries are in Southern Africa and Latin America. Miserly countries tend to be socially fractionalised, bureaucratically inefficient, and politically corrupt. They provide low levels of healthcare and education. Considering the world as a single entity, we find a dramatic rise in global miserliness over the last 30 years going from the level of Colombia to that of South Africa. For one very rich man, there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many. (Adam Smith, 1776: 232)

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00220388.2010.514332
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 47 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 (June)
Pages: 1332-1352

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:47:y:2011:i:9:p:1332-1352

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References

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  1. Jo Thori Lind, 2007. "Fractionalization and Inter-Group Differences," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 123-139, 02.
  2. Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2004. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1737-1772, November.
  3. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  4. Kanbur, Ravi & Mukherjee, Diganta, 2007. "Poverty, Relative to the Ability to Eradicate It: An Index of Poverty Reduction Failure," Working Papers 126998, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  5. Esteban, J. & Ray, D., 1993. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 221.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  6. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. I," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 416-442, June.
  7. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Growth is good for the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2587, The World Bank.
  8. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. II," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 82-111, August.
  9. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  10. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "How Did the World's Poorest Fare in the 1990s?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(3), pages 283-300, September.
  11. Frank Cowell, 1998. "Measurement of inequality," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2084, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Thon, Dominique, 1982. "An axiomatization of the Gini coefficient," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 131-143, March.
  13. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
  14. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Ravallion, Martin, 2009. "Why don't we see poverty convergence ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4974, The World Bank.

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