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Miserly Developments

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  • Jo Thori Lind
  • Karl Moene

Abstract

We measure the level of poverty in the midst of affluence using what we denote the miser index. We calculate the index of poverty-induced polarisation for a number of countries. The most miserly countries are in Southern Africa and Latin America. Miserly countries tend to be socially fractionalised, bureaucratically inefficient, and politically corrupt. They provide low levels of healthcare and education. Considering the world as a single entity, we find a dramatic rise in global miserliness over the last 30 years going from the level of Colombia to that of South Africa. For one very rich man, there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many. (Adam Smith, 1776: 232)

Suggested Citation

  • Jo Thori Lind & Karl Moene, 2011. "Miserly Developments," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(9), pages 1332-1352, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:47:y:2011:i:9:p:1332-1352
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2010.514332
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Ravallion, 2012. "Why Don't We See Poverty Convergence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 504-523, February.
    2. Permanyer, Iñaki, 2014. "Assessing individuals' deprivation in a multidimensional framework," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 1-16.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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