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On the Evolution of the World Income Distribution

Listed author(s):
  • Charles I. Jones

The post-World War I period has seen substantial changes in the world income distribution. As a result, the shape of the distribution has changed from something that looks like a normal distribution in 1960 to a bimodal 'twin peaks' distribution in 1988. Projecting these changes into the future suggests a number of interesting findings. First, it seems likely that the United States will lose its position as the country with the highest level of GDP per worker. Second, the future income distribution will involve far more 'rich' countries and far fewer 'poor' countries than currently observed.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.11.3.19
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 11 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 19-36

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:11:y:1997:i:3:p:19-36
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.3.19
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/
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  1. Jones, Charles I, 1997. "Convergence Revisited," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 131-153, July.
  2. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
  3. Quah, Danny T, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1045-1055, July.
  4. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 1994. "International patenting and technology diffusion," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. De Long, J Bradford, 1988. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1138-1154, December.
  6. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
  7. Quah, Danny, 1993. "Empirical cross-section dynamics in economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 426-434, April.
  8. Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin peaks : growth and convergence in models of distribution dynamics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2278, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. 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.
  10. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Technology and Convergence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1037-1044, July.
  11. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
  12. Caselli, Francesco & Esquivel, Gerardo & Lefort, Fernando, 1996. "Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 363-389, September.
  13. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "Technological Diffusion, Convergence, and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-26, March.
  14. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  15. Quah, Danny, 1993. " Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 427-443, December.
  16. Baumol, William J., 1985. "Productivity Growth, Convergence and Welfare: What the Long Run Data Show," Working Papers 85-27, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  17. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
  18. Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  19. Baumol, William J, 1986. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: What the Long-run Data Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1072-1085, December.
  20. Nazrul Islam, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-1170.
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