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The Evolution of World Inequality in Well-being

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  • Decancq, Koen
  • Decoster, André
  • Schokkaert, Erik

Abstract

Summary In this paper, we use the tools offered by the recent literature on multidimensional inequality measurement to investigate the evolution of the inequality in well-being across different countries during 1975-2000. We focus on three important dimensions of life: standard of living, health, and education. Inequality in the three dimensions shows a different trend during 1975-2000. We propose a flexible measure of well-being to quantify the evolution of overall intercountry well-being inequality. The empirical results are sensitive to different normative choices on the trade-offs between the different dimensions. Especially the concave transformation of income turns out to be decisive for the evolution of world inequality in well-being.

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  • Decancq, Koen & Decoster, André & Schokkaert, Erik, 2009. "The Evolution of World Inequality in Well-being," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 11-25, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:37:y:2009:i:1:p:11-25
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    Cited by:

    1. Guido Erreygers & Philip Clarke & Qiong Zheng, 2017. "On the measurement of socioeconomic inequality of health between countries," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 15(2), pages 175-193, June.
    2. Croci Angelini, Elisabetta & Michelangeli, Alessandra, 2012. "Axiomatic measurement of multidimensional well-being inequality: Some distributional questions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 548-557.
    3. ELOUNDOU-ENYEGUE Parfait & TENIKUE Michel & KANDIWA Vongai M., 2013. "Population Contributions to Global Income Inequality: A Fuller Account," LISER Working Paper Series 2013-28, LISER.
    4. Koen Decancq & María Ana Lugo, 2009. "Measuring inequality of well-being with a correlation-sensitive multidimensional Gini index," Working Papers 124, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    5. Jeni Klugman & Francisco Rodríguez & Hyung-Jin Choi, 2011. "The HDI 2010: new controversies, old critiques," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(2), pages 249-288, June.
    6. Koen Decancq, 2017. "Measuring Multidimensional Inequality in the OECD Member Countries with a Distribution-Sensitive Better Life Index," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 1057-1086, April.
    7. Ben Crow & Nichole Zlatunich & Brian Fulfrost, 2009. "Mapping global inequalities: Beyond income inequality to multi-dimensional inequalities," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(8), pages 1051-1065.
    8. Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel, 2013. "Multidimensional affluence: theory and applications to Germany and the US," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(32), pages 4591-4601, November.
    9. DECANCQ, Koen & FLEURBAEY, Marc & SCHOKKAERT, Erik, 2014. "Inequality, income, and well-being," CORE Discussion Papers 2014018, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    10. Paolo Liberati, 2015. "The World Distribution of Income And Its Inequality, 1970–2009," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(2), pages 248-273, June.
    11. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2018. "Well-being Inequality in the Long Run," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 27073, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    12. Philipp Poppitz, 2017. "Can subjective data improve inequality measurement? A multidimensional index of economic inequality," Working Papers 446, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    13. Vanesa Jordá & José Sarabia, 2015. "International Convergence in Well-Being Indicators," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 120(1), pages 1-27, January.
    14. Muller, Christophe & Trannoy, Alain, 2011. "A dominance approach to the appraisal of the distribution of well-being across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3-4), pages 239-246, April.
    15. Suman Seth, 2013. "A class of distribution and association sensitive multidimensional welfare indices," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(2), pages 133-162, June.
    16. Alecu Alexandra & Dusmanescu Dorel, 2016. "Approaches On Measuring Sustainable Development In Contemporary World – Beyond Classical Indicators," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 3, pages 40-48, June.
    17. Gordon Anderson & Oliver Linton & Teng Leo, 2012. "A polarization-cohesion perspective on cross-country convergence," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 49-69, March.
    18. Prinz, Aloys & Bünger, Björn, 2011. "The usefulness of a Happy Income Index," CAWM Discussion Papers 15, University of Münster, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM).
    19. Bosmans, Kristof & Decancq, Koen & Ooghe, Erwin, 2015. "What do normative indices of multidimensional inequality really measure?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 94-104.
    20. Gordon Anderson & Teng Wah Leo & Oliver Linton, 2010. "Making Inferences About Rich Country - Poor Country Convergence: The Polarization Trapezoid and Overlap measures," Working Papers tecipa-387, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    21. Maria Ana Lugo & Esfandiar Maasoumi, 2008. "Multidimensional Poverty Measures from an Information Theory Perspective," Working Papers 85, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    22. Binelli, Chiara & Loveless, Matthew & Whitefield, Stephen, 2015. "What Is Social Inequality and Why Does it Matter? Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 239-248.
    23. Koen Decancq & Luc Van Ootegem & Elsy Verhofstadt, 2013. "What If We Voted on the Weights of a Multidimensional Well‐Being Index? An Illustration with Flemish Data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 34, pages 315-332, September.
    24. Decancq, Koen & Ooghe, Erwin, 2010. "Has the world moved forward? A robust multidimensional evaluation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 266-269, May.
    25. Nesson, Erik T. & Robinson, Joshua J., 2015. "An information theory based framework for the measurement of population health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 86-103.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    multidimensional inequality measurement index of well-being inter-country inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General

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