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Perspectives on the World Income Distribution - Beyond Twin Peaks Towards Welfare Conclusions

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Author Info

  • Hajo Holzmann

    (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen / Germany)

  • Sebastian Vollmer

    ()
    (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen / Germany)

  • Julian Weisbrod

    ()
    (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen / Germany)

Abstract

This paper contributes towards the growing debate concerning the world distribution of income and its evolution over that past three to four decades. Our methodological approach is twofold. First, we formally test for the number of modes in a cross-sectional analysis where each country is represented by one observation. We contribute to existing studies with technical improvements of the testing procedure, enabling us to draw new conclusions, and an extension of the time horizon being analyzed. Second, we estimate a global distribution of income from national log-normal distributions of income, as well as a global distribution of log-income as a mixture of national normal distributions of log-income. From this distribution we obtain measures for global inequality and poverty as well as global growth incidence curves.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research in its series Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers with number 158.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 06 Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:got:iaidps:158

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Keywords: Convergence; Silverman\'s test; non-parametric statistics; bimodal; global income distribution; poverty; inequality; growth incidence curves;

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References

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  1. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  2. Theo S Eicher & Cecilia Garcia Penalosa, . "Inequality and Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0083, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  3. Ravallion, M. & Datt, G., 1991. "Growth and Redistribution Components of Changes in Poverty Measures," Papers 83, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  4. Carola Grün & Stephan Klasen, 2003. "Growth, Inequality and Well-Being: Comparisons across Space and Time," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 094, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
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  7. Sala-i-martin, X., 1995. "The Classical Approach to Convergence Analysis," Papers 734, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  8. Charles I. Jones, 1997. "On the Evolution of the World Income Distribution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 19-36, Summer.
  9. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Theil, Henri & Theil, Henri, 1979. "World income inequality and its components," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 99-102.
  11. Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Schultz, T.P., 1998. "Inequality in the Distribution of Personal Income in the World: How It Is Changing and Why," Papers 784, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  13. François Bourguignon, 2002. "The growth elasticity of poverty reduction : explaining heterogeneity across countries and time periods," DELTA Working Papers 2002-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  14. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 2003. "Measuring pro-poor growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 93-99, January.
  15. Quah, Danny, 2002. "One Third of the World's Growth and Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 3316, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The Disturbing "Rise" of Global Income Inequality," NBER Working Papers 8904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1355, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Quah, Danny, 2002. "One Third of the World's Growth and Inequality," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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Cited by:
  1. Dai, J. & Sperlich, S., 2010. "Simple and effective boundary correction for kernel densities and regression with an application to the world income and Engel curve estimation," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 54(11), pages 2487-2497, November.

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