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The Global Joint Distribution of Income and Health

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  • Ximing Wu
  • Andreas Savvides
  • Thanasis Stengos

Abstract

We investigate the evolution of global welfare in two dimensions: income per capita and life expectancy. First, we estimate the marginal distributions of income and life expectancy separately. More importantly, in contrast to previous univariate approaches, we consider income and life expectancy jointly and estimate their bivariate global distribution for 137 countries during 1970 - 2000. We reach several conclusions: the global joint distribution has evolved from a bimodal into a unimodal one, the evolution of the health distribution has preceded that of income, global inequality and poverty has decreased over time and the evolution of the global distribution has been welfare improving. Our decomposition of overall welfare indicates that global inequality would be underestimated if within-country inequality is not taken into account. Moreover, global inequality and poverty would be substantially underestimated if the dependence between the income and health distributions is ignored.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2367.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2367

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Keywords: income; health; global distribution; inequality; poverty;

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References

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  1. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1355, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Angus Deaton, 2006. "Global Patterns of Income and Health: Facts, Interpretations, and Policies," NBER Working Papers 12735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Thomas, Vinod & Wang, Yan & Fan, Xibo, 2001. "Measuring education inequality - Gini coefficients of education," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2525, The World Bank.
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  13. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 2002. "Inequality Among World Citizens: 1820-1992," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 727-744, September.
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  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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Cited by:
  1. Esfandiar Maasoumi & Le Wang, 2013. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Measurement and Analysis," Emory Economics 1305, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).

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