IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/qjecon/v121y2006i2p351-397..html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and … Convergence, Period

Author

Listed:
  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Abstract

We estimate the World Distribution of Income by integrating individual income distributions for 138 countries between 1970 and 2000. Country distributions are constructed by combining national accounts GDP per capita to anchor the mean with survey data to pin down the dispersion. Poverty rates and head counts are reported for four specific poverty lines. Rates in 2000 were between one-third and one-half of what they were in 1970 for all four lines. There were between 250 and 500 million fewer poor in 2000 than in 1970. We estimate eight indexes of income inequality implied by our world distribution of income. All of them show reductions in global inequality during the 1980s and 1990s.

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2006. "The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and … Convergence, Period," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 351-397.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:121:y:2006:i:2:p:351-397.
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/qjec.2006.121.2.351
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. ,, 2001. "Problems And Solutions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(6), pages 1157-1160, December.
    2. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-625, April.
    3. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 1997. "What Can New Survey Data Tell Us about Recent Changes in Distribution and Poverty?," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 357-382, May.
    4. Branko Milanovic, 2002. "True World Income Distribution, 1988 and 1993: First Calculation Based on Household Surveys Alone," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 51-92, January.
    5. Angus Deaton, 2005. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 1-19, February.
    6. T. Paul Schultz, 1998. "Inequality in the distribution of personal income in the world: How it is changing and why," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(3), pages 307-344.
    7. 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.
    8. Berry, Albert & Bourguignon, Francois & Morrisson, Christian, 1983. "Changes in the World Distribution of Income between 1950 and 1977," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(37), pages 331-350, June.
    9. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    10. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for growth and distribution," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2138, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531.
    12. Grosh, Margaret E & Nafziger, E Wayne, 1986. "The Computation of World Income Distribution," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 347-359, January.
    13. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 2002. "Inequality Among World Citizens: 1820-1992," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 727-744, September.
    14. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The World Distribution of Income (estimated from Individual Country Distributions)," NBER Working Papers 8933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. 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.
    17. Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    18. ,, 2001. "Problems And Solutions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(5), pages 1025-1031, October.
    19. Martin Ravallion & Gaurav Datt & Dominique van de Walle, 1991. "Quantifying Absolute Poverty In The Developing World," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(4), pages 345-361, December.
    20. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-920, July.
    21. Quah, Danny, 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.
    22. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2001. "The disturbing 'rise' of global income inequality," Economics Working Papers 616, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2002.
    23. Kremer, Michael & Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James, 2001. "Searching for prosperity," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 275-303, December.
    24. Danny Quah, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution," CEP Discussion Papers dp0324, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    25. World Bank, 2003. "World Development Indicators 2003," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 13920.
    26. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
    27. Andrea Brandolini & Anthony B. Atkinson, 2001. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of "Secondary" Data-Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries As a Case Study," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 771-799, September.
    28. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    29. Quah, Danny T, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 27-59, March.
    30. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav & van de Walle, Dominique, 1991. "Quantifying Absolute Poverty in the Developing World," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(4), pages 345-361, December.
    31. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1988. "A New Set Of International Comparisons Of Real Product And Price Levels Estimates For 130 Countries, 1950–1985," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(1), pages 1-25, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The World Distribution of Income (estimated from Individual Country Distributions)," NBER Working Papers 8933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Maxim Pinkovskiy & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2009. "Parametric Estimations of the World Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 15433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2001. "The disturbing 'rise' of global income inequality," Economics Working Papers 616, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2002.
    4. Bart Capéau & Andre Decoster, 2004. "The Rise or Fall of World Inequality: A Spurious Controversy?," WIDER Working Paper Series DP2004-02, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. B. Capéau & A. Decoster, 2003. "The Rise or Fall of World Inequality Big Issue or Apparent Controversy?," Review of Business and Economic Literature, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Review of Business and Economic Literature, vol. 0(4), pages 547-572.
    6. Ms. Camelia Minoiu & Sanjay Reddy, 2008. "Kernel Density Estimation Based on Grouped Data: The Case of Poverty Assessment," IMF Working Papers 2008/183, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Edward, Peter, 2006. "Examining Inequality: Who Really Benefits from Global Growth?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1667-1695, October.
    8. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "15 Years of New Growth Economics : What Have we Learnt?," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 5(2), pages 5-15, August.
    9. Claudia Biancotti, 2004. "A Polarization of Polarization? The Distribution of Inequality 1970-1996," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 487, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    10. Paul Johnson & Chris Papageorgiou, 2020. "What Remains of Cross-Country Convergence?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(1), pages 129-175, March.
    11. 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.
    12. Calzadilla, Alvaro, 2010. "Global income distribution and poverty: Implications from the IPCC SRES scenarios," Kiel Working Papers 1664, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    13. Wade, Robert Hunter, 2004. "Is Globalization Reducing Poverty and Inequality?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 567-589, April.
    14. Branko Milanovic, 2002. "True World Income Distribution, 1988 and 1993: First Calculation Based on Household Surveys Alone," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 51-92, January.
    15. Heshmati, Almas, 2004. "The World Distribution of Income and Income Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 1267, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Oleg Badunenko & Daniel J. Henderson & Valentin Zelenyuk, 2008. "Technological Change and Transition: Relative Contributions to Worldwide Growth During the 1990s," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(4), pages 461-492, August.
    17. Ezcurra, Roberto, 2007. "Is there cross-country convergence in carbon dioxide emissions?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1363-1372, February.
    18. Andreas Pyka & Jens J. Kruger & Uwe Cantner, 2003. "Twin Peaks: What the Knowledge-based Approach Can Say about the Dynamics of the World Income Distribution," Chapters, in: Pier Paolo Saviotti (ed.), Applied Evolutionary Economics, chapter 9, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Pinkovskiy, Maxim L., 2013. "World welfare is rising: Estimation using nonparametric bounds on welfare measures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 176-195.
    20. Mahmoud A. El-Gamal & Deockhyun Ryu, 2013. "Nonstationarity and Stochastic Stability of Relative Income Clubs," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59(4), pages 756-775, December.

    More about this item

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Economic Growth

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:121:y:2006:i:2:p:351-397.. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://academic.oup.com/qje .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Oxford University Press (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://academic.oup.com/qje .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.