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Development Policies and Income Inequality in Selected Developing Regions, 1980–2010

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  • Giovanni Andrea Cornia
  • Bruno Martorano

Abstract

The paper discusses the income inequality changes which have taken place in a few representative developing regions during the last 30 years. While inequality rose in the majority of the countries of these regions in the 1980s and 1990s, the last decade was characterized by a bifurcation of inequality trends. This divergence offers the possibility to contrast the experience of virtuous regions (Latin America and parts of East and South-East Asia) and non-virtuous regions (the European economies in transition and China) so as to draw useful lessons. Since the global economic conditions affecting inequality in these countries were not too dissimilar and since no major variations in endogenous factors were evident across the regions analysed, the difference in inequality trends between virtuous and non-virtuous regions was most likely due to institutional factors and public policies. An econometric test confirms that the reduction of inequality is possible even under open economy conditions if a given set of appropriate macroeconomic, labour, fiscal and social policies is adopted by governments.

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Paper provided by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in its series UNCTAD Discussion Papers with number 210.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:unc:dispap:210

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Cited by:
  1. Birdsall, Nancy & Lustig, Nora & Meyer, Christian J., 2014. "The Strugglers: The New Poor in Latin America?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 132-146.

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