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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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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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References

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  1. Angus Deaton, 2003. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," NBER Working Papers 9822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  3. Michael Kremer & Alexei Onatski & James Stock, 2001. "Searching for Prosperity," NBER Working Papers 8250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. 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.
  6. Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  8. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The disturbing "rise" of global income inequality," Discussion Papers 0102-44, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  9. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The world distribution of income (estimated from individual country distributions)," Discussion Papers 0102-58, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  10. Charles I. Jones, . "On the Evolution of the World Income Distribution," Working Papers 97009, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. Quah, Danny T, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1045-55, July.
  13. 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.
  14. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531.
  15. 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.
  16. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-20, July.
  17. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
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