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Growth Rates vs Income Growth Curves: A Step towards the Measurement of Societal Progress


  • Paolo Roberti

    () (Italian Institute of Statistics, Rome)

  • M. Grazia Calza

    () (Italian Institute of Statistics, Rome)

  • Franco Mostacci

    () (Italian Institute of Statistics, Rome)

  • Elisabetta Pugliese

    () (University of Roma Tre)


Overall growth rates mean different things to different people. Hence, they can easily misrepresent what happens to living standards and "quality of life". This paper focuses on patterns and interrelationships between the size and the distribution of the dividends of growth, not on summary coefficients. The analysis is based on Income-Growth-Curves, which allow to re-connect the macro with the micro perspective and, hence, to plot "distributive vistas" which uncover not just how sustained growth was, but also the distribution of its dividends; and, consequently, to judge progress against a broader analytical approach centered on "quality" and "whose growth".

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Roberti & M. Grazia Calza & Franco Mostacci & Elisabetta Pugliese, 2008. "Growth Rates vs Income Growth Curves: A Step towards the Measurement of Societal Progress," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 98(5), pages 233-262, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:rpo:ripoec:v:98:y:2008:i:5:p:233-262

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    More about this item


    poverty; inequality; growth; data needs and quality; macro and micro analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty


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