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Half a world : regional inequality in five great federations

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  • Milanovic, Branko

Abstract

Thepaper studies regional (spatial) inequality in the five most populous countries in the world: China, India, the United States, Indonesia, and Brazil in the period 1980-2000. They are all federations or quasi-federations composed of entities with substantial economic autonomy. Two types of regional inequalities are considered: Concept 1 inequality, which is inequality between mean incomes (GDP per capita) of states/provinces, and Concept 2 inequality, which is inequality between population-weighted regional mean incomes. The first inequality speaks to the issue of regional convergence, the second, to the issue of overall inequality as perceived by citizens within a nation. All three Asian countries show rising inequality in terms of both concepts in the 1990s. Divergence in income outcomes is particularly noticeable for the most populous states/provinces in China and India. The United States, where regional inequality is the least, shows further convergence. Brazil, with the highest level of regional inequality, displays no trend. A regression analysis fails to establish robust association between the usual macroeconomic variables and the two types of regional inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3699.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3699

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Keywords: Inequality; Governance Indicators; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Rural Poverty Reduction; Services&Transfers to Poor;

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  1. Xiaobo Zhang & Kevin Zhang, 2003. "How Does Globalisation Affect Regional Inequality within A Developing Country? Evidence from China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 47-67.
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Cited by:
  1. Breinlich, Holger & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2014. "Regional Growth and Regional Decline," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 4, pages 683-779 Elsevier.
  2. Lu, Jiangyong & Liu, Xiaohui & Filatotchev, Igor & Wright, Mike, 2014. "The impact of domestic diversification and top management teams on the international diversification of Chinese firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 455-467.
  3. Siroën, Jean-Marc & Brami Celentano, Alexandrine, 2007. "Mondialisation et politique fiscale au Brésil," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/284, Paris Dauphine University.
  4. Nissanke, Machiko & Thorbecke, Erik, 2006. "Channels and policy debate in the globalization-inequality-poverty nexus," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1338-1360, August.
  5. Ezcurra, Roberto & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2013. "Does economic globalization a ffect regional inequality? A cross-country analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 9557, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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