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Riding the Elephants: The Evolution of World Economic Growth and Income Distribution at the End of the Twentieth Century (1980-2000)

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  • Albert Berry
  • John Serieux
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    Abstract

    This paper presents estimates of world economic growth for 1970-2000, and changes in the intercountry and interpersonal distribution of world income between 1980 and 2000. These estimates suggest that, while the rate of growth of the world economy slowed in the 1980-2000 period, and average within-country inequality worsened, the distribution of world income among individuals, nevertheless, improved a little. However, that result was wholly due to the exceptional economic performances of China and India. Outside these two countries, the slowdown in world growth was even more dramatic, the distribution of world income unequivocally worsened, and poverty rates remained largely unchanged.

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    File URL: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2006/wp27_2006.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs in its series Working Papers with number 27.

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    Length: 36 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:une:wpaper:27

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    Web page: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/working-papers.html
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    Keywords: world inequality trends; international income distribution; convergence; world poverty trends;

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    1. Pritchett, Lant, 1995. "Divergence, big time," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1522, The World Bank.
    2. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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    4. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2004. "How Have the World's Poorest Fared Since the Early 1980s?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3341, The World Bank.
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    10. Whalley, John, 1979. "The Worldwide Income Distribution: Some Speculative Calculations," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 25(3), pages 261-76, September.
    11. Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Does Globalization Make the World More Unequal?," NBER Working Papers 8228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Evans, David, 1989. "Alternative perspectives on trade and development," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1241-1304 Elsevier.
    13. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2001. "The disturbing 'rise' of global income inequality," Economics Working Papers 616, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2002.
    14. Bliss, Christopher, 1989. "Trade and development," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 23, pages 1187-1240 Elsevier.
    15. Cornia, Giovanni Andrea (ed.), 2004. "Inequality, Growth, and Poverty in an Era of Liberalization and Globalization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199271412, September.
    16. Donald J. Robbins, 1996. "Evidence on Trade and Wages in the Developing World," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 119, OECD Publishing.
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