On analysing the world distribution of income
AbstractThis paper argues that consideration of world inequality should cause us to re-examine the key concepts underlying the welfare approach to the measurement of income inequality and the inter-relation between the measurement of inequality and the measurement of poverty. There are three reasons why we feel that a re-examination is necessary: (i) the extent of global income differences means that we cannot simply carry over the methods used at a national level; we need a more flexible measure; (ii) we have to reconcile measures of world inequality and world poverty; and (iii) we need to explore more fully the different ways in which measures may be relative or absolute. This leads us to propose a new measure, which (a) combines poverty and inequality, including provision for those who are concerned only with poverty, (b) incorporates different approaches to the measurement of inequality; and (c) allows the cost of inequality to be expressed in different ways. Applied to the world distribution for the period 1820-1992, the new measure provides different perspectives on the evolution of global inequality.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 701.
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
global income inequality; absolute vs. relative inequality; poverty; world citizens;
Other versions of this item:
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-02-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2009-02-14 (Development)
- NEP-LTV-2009-02-14 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Christiansen, Vidar & Jansen, Eilev S., 1978. "Implicit social preferences in the Norwegian system of indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 217-245, October.
- del Rio, Coral & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2001. "Intermediate Inequality and Welfare: The Case of Spain, 1980-81 to 1990-91," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(2), pages 221-37, June.
- Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1978. "Measures of relative equality and their meaning in terms of social welfare," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 59-80, June.
- Shorrocks, Anthony F & Foster, James E, 1987. "Transfer Sensitive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 485-97, July.
- Schultz, T.P., 1998.
"Inequality in the Distribution of Personal Income in the World: How It Is Changing and Why,"
784, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- T. Paul Schultz, 1998. "Inequality in the distribution of personal income in the world: How it is changing and why," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 307-344.
- Bossert, Walter & Pfingsten, Andreas, 1990. "Intermediate inequality: concepts, indices, and welfare implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 117-134, April.
- T. Paul Schultz, 1998. "Inequality in the Distribution of Personal Income in the World: How it is Changing and Why," Working Papers 784, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Sheshinski, Eytan, 1972. "Relation between a social welfare function and the gini index of income inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 98-100, February.
- Satya Chakravarty & Ravi Kanbur & Diganta Mukherjee, 2006.
"Population growth and poverty measurement,"
Social Choice and Welfare,
Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 471-483, June.
- Angus Deaton, 2004.
"Measuring poverty in a growing world (or measuring growth in a poor world),"
178, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Angus Deaton, 2005. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 1-19, February.
- 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.
- Sudhir Anand & Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of the Human Development Index," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 83-106.
- Angus Deaton, 2005. "ERRATUM: Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 395-395, May.
- Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2006. "The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and ... Convergence, Period," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 351-397, May.
- Ravallion, Martin, 2004. "Competing concepts of inequality in the globalization debate," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3243, The World Bank.
- Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1980. "A Theoretical Treatment of Indices of Absolute Inequality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 107-36, February.
- Branko Milanovic, 2002.
"True World Income Distribution, 1988 and 1993: First Calculation Based on Household Surveys Alone,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 51-92, January.
- Milanovic, Branko, 1999. "True world income distribution, 1988 and 1993 - first calculations, based on household surveys alone," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2244, The World Bank.
- Branko milanovic, 2003. "True world income distribution, 1988 and 1993: First calculation based on household surveys alo," HEW 0305002, EconWPA.
- Martin Feldstein, 2005.
"Rethinking Social Insurance,"
NBER Working Papers
11250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
- Amiel, Yoram & Creedy, John & Hurn, Stan, 1999. " Measuring Attitudes towards Inequality," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(1), pages 83-96, March.
- Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002.
" Growth Is Good for the Poor,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
- Kanbur, Ravi, 2008. "Globalization, Growth and Distribution: Framing The Questions," Working Papers 51105, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
- Coral del RÎo & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2000. "Intermediate inequality and welfare," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 223-239.
- Mirrlees, J. A., 1978. "Social benefit-cost analysis and the distribution of income," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 131-138, February.
- Bourguignon, Francois & Levin, Victoria & Rosenblatt, David, 2006. "Global redistribution of income," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3961, The World Bank.
- Foster, James E, 1998. "Absolute versus Relative Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 335-41, May.
- Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
- Peter Svedberg, 2004. "World Income Distribution: Which Way?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(5), pages 1-32.
- Cowell, Frank A, 1980. "On the Structure of Additive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 521-31, April.
- 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.
- Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Real National Income," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 19-39, February.
- Atkinson, A. B., 1990. "Public economics and the economic public," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 225-248, May.
- Chotikapanich, Duangkamon & Valenzuela, Rebecca & Rao, D S Prasada, 1997. "Global and Regional Inequality in the Distribution of Income: Estimation with Limited and Incomplete Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 533-46.
- Sen, Amartya, 1983. "Poor, Relatively Speaking," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 153-69, July.
- Sudhir Anand & Paul Segal, 2008. "What Do We Know about Global Income Inequality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 57-94, March.
- Flaviana Palmisano & Dirk Van de gaer, 2013. "History dependent growth incidence: A characterisation and an application to the economic crisis in Italy," Working Papers 314, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
- Pedro Conceição & Yanchun Zhang, 2010. "Discounting in the context of climate change economics: the policy implications of uncertainty and global asymmetries," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 12(1), pages 31-57, June.
- Peragine, Vito & Palmisano, Flaviana & Brunori, Paolo, 2013.
"Economic Growth and equality of opportunity,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
6599, The World Bank.
- Vito Peragine & Flaviana Palmisano & Paolo Brunori, 2011. "Economic growth and equality of opportunity," Working Papers 232, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
- V. Peragine & F. Palmisano & P. Brunori, 2011. "Economic growth and equality of opportunity," series 0037, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Metodi Matematici - Università di Bari, revised Oct 2011.
- Anthony B. Atkinson & Maria Ana Lugo, 2010. "Growth, poverty and distribution in Tanzania," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 36376, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Decancq, Koen & Ooghe, Erwin, 2010. "Has the world moved forward? A robust multidimensional evaluation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 266-269, May.
- Helgeson, Jennifer & Dietz, Simon & Atkinson, Giles D. & Hepburn, Cameron & Sælen, Håkon, 2009.
"Siblings, not triplets: social preferences for risk, inequality and time in discounting climate change,"
Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal,
Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 3(26), pages 1-28.
- Atkinson, Giles D. & Dietz, Simon & Helgeson, Jennifer & Hepburn, Cameron & Sælen, Håkon, 2009. "Siblings, not triplets: social preferences for risk, inequality and time in discounting climate change," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-14, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
- Ravi Kanbur & Matti Tuomala, 2011. "Charitable conservatism, poverty radicalism and inequality aversion," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 417-431, September.
- repec:lsg:lsgwps:wp84 is not listed on IDEAS
- Glenn Sheriff & Kelly B. Maguire, 2013. "Ranking Distributions of Environmental Outcomes Across Population Groups," NCEE Working Paper Series 201304, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Aug 2013.
- Simon Dietz & David Maddison, 2009. "New Frontiers in the Economics of Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(3), pages 295-306, July.
- Joseph E. Aldy & Alan J. Krupnick & Richard G. Newell & Ian W. H. Parry & William A. Pizer, 2010.
"Designing Climate Mitigation Policy,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 903-34, December.
- Aldy, Joseph E. & Krupnick, Alan J. & Newell, Richard G. & Parry, Ian W.H. & Pizer, William A., 2009. "Designing Climate Mitigation Policy," Discussion Papers dp-08-16, Resources For the Future.
- Joseph E. Aldy & Alan J. Krupnick & Richard G. Newell & Ian W.H. Parry & William A. Pizer, 2009. "Designing Climate Mitigation Policy," NBER Working Papers 15022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nicholas Stern, 2013. "Ethics, equity and the economics of climate change. Paper 2: Economics and Politics," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 84b, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
- Dietz, Simon & Hepburn, Cameron, 2013. "Benefit–cost analysis of non-marginal climate and energy projects," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 61-71.
- Nino-Zarazua, Miguel & Roope, Laurence & Tarp, Finn, 2014.
"Global interpersonal inequality: Trends and measurement,"
Working Paper Series
UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel & Roope, Laurence & Tarp, Finn, 2014. "Global interpersonal inequality Trends and measurement," MPRA Paper 52881, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- James Foster & Joel Greer & Erik Thorbecke, 2010. "The Foster–Greer–Thorbecke (FGT) poverty measures: 25 years later," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 491-524, December.
- Facundo Alvaredo & Leonardo Gasparini, 2013. "Recent Trends in Inequality and Poverty in Developing Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0151, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.