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The evolution of World inequality in Well-being

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  • Koen Decancq
  • André Decoster
  • Erik Schokkaert

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the evolution of the inequality in well-being across different countries between 1975 and 2000. We treat well-being as a multidimensional concept focusing on three important dimensions of life: standard of living, health and education. Inequality in the three dimensions shows a different trend between 1975 and 2000. We propose a flexible measure of well-being and use the tools offered by the recent literature on multidimensional inequality measurement to quantify the evolution of overall intercountry well-being inequality. The empirical results are nuanced, and sensitive to different normative choices on the trade-offs between the different dimensions. In particular the concave transformation of income turns out to be decisive for the evolution of world inequality in well-being.

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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces0704.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0704

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Keywords: Multidimensional Inequality Measurement; Index of Well-being; Inter-country Inequality.;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Suman Seth, 2013. "A class of distribution and association sensitive multidimensional welfare indices," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 133-162, June.
  2. Koen Decancq & Luc Van Ootegem & Elsy Verhofstadt, 2013. "What If We Voted on the Weights of a Multidimensional Well‐Being Index? An Illustration with Flemish Data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 34, pages 315-332, 09.
  3. Muller, Christophe & Trannoy, Alain, 2011. "A dominance approach to the appraisal of the distribution of well-being across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 239-246.
  4. Jeni Klugman & Francisco Rodríguez & Hyung-Jin Choi, 2011. "The HDI 2010: New Controversies, Old Critiques," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2011-01, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  5. BOSMANS, Kristof & DECANCQ, Koen & OOGHE, Erwin, 2013. "What do normative indices of multidimensional inequality really measure?," CORE Discussion Papers 2013035, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico, 2011. "Multidimensional Affluence: Theory and Applications to Germany and the US," IZA Discussion Papers 5926, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Maria Ana Lugo & Koen Decancq, 2009. "Measuring Inequality of Well-Being with a Correlation-Sensitive Multidimensional Gini Index," Economics Series Working Papers 459, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Maria Ana Lugo, 2008. "Multidimensional Poverty Measures from an Information Theory Perspective," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp011, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  9. ELOUNDOU-ENYEGUE Parfait & TENIKUE Michel & KANDIWA Vongai M., 2013. "Population Contributions to Global Income Inequality: A Fuller Account," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2013-28, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  10. Gordon Anderson & Oliver Linton & Teng Leo, 2012. "A polarization-cohesion perspective on cross-country convergence," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 49-69, March.
  11. Decancq, Koen & Ooghe, Erwin, 2010. "Has the world moved forward? A robust multidimensional evaluation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 266-269, May.
  12. Ben Crow & Nichole Zlatunich & Brian Fulfrost, 2009. "Mapping global inequalities: Beyond income inequality to multi-dimensional inequalities," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(8), pages 1051-1065.
  13. Gordon Anderson & Teng Wah Leo & Oliver Linton, 2010. "Making Inferences About Rich Country - Poor Country Convergence: The Polarization Trapezoid and Overlap measures," Working Papers tecipa-387, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  14. Croci Angelini, Elisabetta & Michelangeli, Alessandra, 2012. "Axiomatic measurement of multidimensional well-being inequality: Some distributional questions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 548-557.
  15. Prinz, Aloys & Bünger, Björn, 2011. "The usefulness of a Happy Income Index," CAWM Discussion Papers 15, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM), University of Münster.

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