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On the Evolution of the World Income Distribution

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  • Charles I. Jones

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles I. Jones, 1997. "On the Evolution of the World Income Distribution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 19-36, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:11:y:1997:i:3:p:19-36
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.3.19
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative

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