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Capital and Income Inequality: Some Facts and Some Puzzles (Update of WP 12/28 published in October 2012)

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Listed:
  • Amparo Castello Climent
  • Rafael Domenech

Abstract

Using a broad number of indicators from an updated data set on human capital inequality for 146 countries from 1950 to 2010, this paper documents several facts regarding the evolution of income and human capital inequality. The main findings reveal that, in spite of a large reduction in human capital inequality around the world driven by a decline in the number of illiterates of several hundreds of millions of people, the inequality in the distribution of income has hardly changed. In many regions, the income Gini coefficient in 1960 was very similar to that in 2005. Therefore, improvements in literacy are not a sufficient condition to reduce income inequality, even though they improve life standards of people at the bottom of the income distribution. Increasing returns to education, external effects on wages of higher literacy rates or the simultaneous concurrence of other exogenous forces (e.g., globalization or skill-biased technological progress) may explain the lack of correlation between the evolution of income andeducation inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Amparo Castello Climent & Rafael Domenech, 2014. "Capital and Income Inequality: Some Facts and Some Puzzles (Update of WP 12/28 published in October 2012)," Working Papers 1228, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:bbv:wpaper:1228
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. F. Javier Morales & Sara G. Castellanos & Mariana A. Toran, 2012. "Analisis del uso de servicios financieros por parte de las empresas en Mexico. Que nos dice el Censo Economico 2009," Working Papers 1215, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
    2. Javier Alonso & David Tuesta & Jasmina Bjeletic & Carlos Herrera & Soledad Hormazabal & Ivonne Ordonez & Carolina Romero, 2009. "Proyecciones del impacto de los fondos de pensiones en la inversion en infraestructura y el crecimiento en Latinoamerica," Working Papers 0921, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
    3. Mariana A. Toran & F. Javier Morales & Sara G. Castellanos, 2012. "Analysis of the Use of Financial Services by Companies in Mexico: What does the 2009 Economic Census tell us?," Working Papers 1216, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The puzzling evolution of income inequality
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-01-07 21:47:00

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Distribution of education; income inequality; human development; panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General

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