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Nonlinear dynamics in welfare and the evolution of world inequality

  • Davide Fiaschi


    (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Universit� di Pisa)

  • Marzia Romanelli


    (Bank of Italy)

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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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 724.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_724_09
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  1. S Durlauf & Danny Quah, 1998. "The New Empirics of Economic Growth," CEP Discussion Papers dp0384, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Fiaschi, Davide & Lavezzi, Andrea Mario, 2003. " Distribution Dynamics and Nonlinear Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 379-401, December.
  3. Johnson, Paul, 2003. "A Continuous State Space Approach to “Convergence by Parts”," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 54, Vassar College Department of Economics.
  4. Esteban, J. & Ray, D., 1993. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 221.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  5. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2005. "The value of life and the rise in health spending," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. Danny Quah, 1992. "Empirical Cross-Section Dynamics in Economic Growth," FMG Discussion Papers dp154, Financial Markets Group.
  7. Sherwin Rosen, . "The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 87-14, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  8. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 277-291, March.
  9. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  10. Gordon Anderson, 2005. "LIFE EXPECTANCY AND ECONOMIC WELFARE: THE EXAMPLE OF AFRICA IN THE 1990s," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(3), pages 455-468, 09.
  11. Ram, Rati, 2006. "State of the "life span revolution" between 1980 and 2000," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 518-526, August.
  12. Chotikapanich, Duangkamon & Valenzuela, Rebecca & Rao, D S Prasada, 1997. "Global and Regional Inequality in the Distribution of Income: Estimation with Limited and Incomplete Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 533-46.
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