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The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and ... Convergence, Period

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  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin

    (Columbia University)

Abstract

We estimate the World Distribution of Income by integrating individual income distributions for 138 countries between 1970 and 2000. Country distributions are constructed by combining national accounts GDP per capita to anchor the mean with survey data to pin down the dispersion. Poverty rates and head counts are reported for four specific poverty lines. Rates in 2000 were between one-third and one-half of what they were in 1970 for all four lines. There were between 250 and 500 million fewer poor in 2000 than in 1970. We estimate eight indexes of income inequality implied by our world distribution of income. All of them show reductions in global inequality during the 1980s and 1990s. Copyright (c) 2006 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 121 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 351-397

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:121:y:2006:i:2:p:351-397

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References

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  1. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The World Distribution of Income (estimated from Individual Country Distributions)," NBER Working Papers 8933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950-1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-68, May.
  3. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The Disturbing "Rise" of Global Income Inequality," NBER Working Papers 8904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1988. "A New Set of International Comparisons of Real Product and Price Levels Estimates for 130 Countries, 1950-1985," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(1), pages 1-25, March.
  5. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-91, September.
  6. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531, December.
  7. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav & van de Walle, Dominique, 1991. "Quantifying Absolute Poverty in the Developing World," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(4), pages 345-61, December.
  8. Angus Deaton, 2004. "Measuring poverty in a growing world (or measuring growth in a poor world)," Working Papers 178, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  9. Charles I. Jones, . "On the Evolution of the World Income Distribution," Working Papers 97009, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  10. Kremer, Michael & Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James, 2001. "Searching for prosperity," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 275-303, December.
  11. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-20, July.
  12. Andrea Brandolini & Anthony B. Atkinson, 2001. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of "Secondary" Data-Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries As a Case Study," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 771-799, September.
  13. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1355, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  15. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  16. Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. Berry, Albert & Bourguignon, Francois & Morrisson, Christian, 1983. "Changes in the World Distribution of Income between 1950 and 1977," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(37), pages 331-50, June.
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