The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality
AbstractLack of income convergence for the world as a whole has led to concerns about the impact of globalization of markets on world inequality. GDP per capita is usually used to proxy for the quality of life of individuals living in different countries. However, well-being is also affected by quantity of life, as represented by longevity. This paper incorporates longevity into an overall assessment of the evolution of cross-country inequality. The absence of income convergence noticed in the growth literature is in stark contrast with the reduction in inequality after incorporating recent gains in longevity. The paper computes a full' income measure to value the life expectancy gains experienced by 49 countries between 1965 and 1995. Countries starting with lower income tended to grow more in terms of full' income than countries starting with higher income. The average growth rate of full' income is about 140% for developed countries, compared to 192% for developing countries. Additionally, we decompose changes in life expectancy into changes attributable to thirteen broad groups of causes of death. Infectious, respiratory and digestive diseases, congenital and perinatal conditions, and ill-defined' conditions are responsible for most of the mortality convergence observed between 1965 and 1995.
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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9765.
Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Becker, Gary S., Tomas J. Philipson and Rodrigo R. Soares. "The Quantity And Quality Of Life And The Evolution Of World Inequality," American Economic Review, 2005, v95(1,Mar), 277-291.
Note: EFG HE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 277-291, March.
- I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2003-06-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2003-06-16 (Development)
- NEP-HEA-2003-06-16 (Health Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2003-06-16 (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.:
- Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
- Rodrigo R. Soares, 2004.
"Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice,"
Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings
9, Econometric Society.
- Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 580-601, June.
- Rodrigo R. Soares, 2003. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," Development and Comp Systems 0312006, EconWPA.
- Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002.
"The world distribution of income (estimated from individual country distributions),"
0102-58, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
- Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The World Distribution of Income (estimated from Individual Country Distributions)," NBER Working Papers 8933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The world distribution of income (estimated from individual country distributions)," Economics Working Papers 615, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2002.
- Gary S. Becker & Julio Jorge El�as, 2007. "Introducing Incentives in the Market for Live and Cadaveric Organ Donations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 3-24, Summer.
- Neumayer, Eric, 2003. "Beyond income: convergence in living standards, big time," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 275-296, September.
- Sherwin Rosen, .
"The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy,"
University of Chicago - Population Research Center
87-14, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992.
"A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
- Friedman, Milton, 1992. "Do Old Fallacies Ever Die?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 2129-32, December.
- Browning, Martin & Hansen, Lars Peter & Heckman, James J., 1999.
"Micro data and general equilibrium models,"
Handbook of Macroeconomics,
in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 543-633
- Tomas J. Philipson & William H. Dow & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Longevity Complementarities under Competing Risks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1358-1371, December.
- Aldy, Joseph E. & Viscusi, W. Kip, 2003.
"The Value of Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World,"
- Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. " The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
- W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Aldy, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," NBER Working Papers 9487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 1993. "Changes in the wealth of nations," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-16.
- Cannon, Edmund S & Duck, Nigel W, 2000. "Galton's Fallacy and Economic Convergence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 415-19, April.
- Randa Sab & Stephen C. Smith, 2002. "Human Capital Convergence: A Joint Estimation Approach," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(2), pages 3.
- Dan Usher, 1973. "The Measurement of Economic Growth," Working Papers 145, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
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.