Nonlinear dynamics in welfare and the evolution of world inequality
The paper proposes a measure of countries' welfare based on individuals' lifetime utility and applies it to a large sample of countries in the period 1960-2000. Even though welfare inequality across countries appeared stable, the distribution dynamics points out the emergence of three clusters. Such tendencies to polarization shall strengthen in the future. In terms of the world population distribution, welfare inequality decreased as the result of the decline in inequality of both per capita GDP and life expectancy, but this downward trend should be reverted hereafter. Finally, a polarization pattern emerged, which is expected to further intensify in the future.
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