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The Relativity of Decreasing Inequality Between Countries

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  • Kristof Bosmans
  • Koen Decancq
  • André Decoster

Abstract

type="main" xml:id="ecca12059-abs-0001"> We study the evolution of population-weighted between-country inequality in the period 1980–2009. Whereas previous studies almost exclusively focused on relative inequality measures, we consider relative, absolute and intermediate versions of the Lorenz dominance criterion and of the S-Gini and generalized entropy classes of inequality measures. The analysis yields robust evidence for increasing absolute inequality. Moreover, this conclusion is preserved for intermediate views substantially in the direction of the relative view. In contrast, robust evidence for decreasing inequality—be it relative, absolute or intermediate—is virtually absent. These findings challenge the widely accepted claim of decreasing between-country inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristof Bosmans & Koen Decancq & André Decoster, 2014. "The Relativity of Decreasing Inequality Between Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(322), pages 276-292, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:81:y:2014:i:322:p:276-292
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    Cited by:

    1. Brandolini Andrea & Carta Francesca, 2016. "Some Reflections on the Social Welfare Bases of the Measurement of Global Income Inequality," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-15, June.
    2. Mauro Mussini, 2017. "Decomposing Changes in Inequality and Welfare Between EU Regions: The Roles of Population Change, Re-Ranking and Income Growth," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(2), pages 455-478, January.
    3. Lucio Esposito, 2014. "Introduction," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 3(3), pages 134-136.
    4. Thomas Goda & Alejandro Torres, 2015. "Class or location? What explains the rising tide of absolute global income inequality during 1850-2010?," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 012663, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
    5. Ivica Urban, 2017. "Measuring income redistribution: beyond the proportionality standard," Working Papers 427, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    6. Andrea Ricci, 2016. "Unequal Exchange in International Trade:A General Model," Working Papers 1605, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2016.
    7. Thomas Goda & Alejandro Torres García, 2017. "The Rising Tide of Absolute Global Income Inequality During 1850–2010: Is It Driven by Inequality Within or Between Countries?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 1051-1072, February.
    8. S. Subramanian, 2015. "Assessing Inequality in the Presence of Growth: an Expository Essay," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 179-199, September.
    9. Claudio Zoli, 2017. "A note on progressive taxation and inequality equivalence," Working Papers 19/2017, University of Verona, Department of Economics.

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