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The Global Joint Distribution of Income and Health

  • Ximing Wu
  • Andreas Savvides
  • Thanasis Stengos

We investigate the evolution of global welfare in two dimensions: income per capita and life expectancy. First, we estimate the marginal distributions of income and life expectancy separately. More importantly, in contrast to previous univariate approaches, we consider income and life expectancy jointly and estimate their bivariate global distribution for 137 countries during 1970 - 2000. We reach several conclusions: the global joint distribution has evolved from a bimodal into a unimodal one, the evolution of the health distribution has preceded that of income, global inequality and poverty has decreased over time and the evolution of the global distribution has been welfare improving. Our decomposition of overall welfare indicates that global inequality would be underestimated if within-country inequality is not taken into account. Moreover, global inequality and poverty would be substantially underestimated if the dependence between the income and health distributions is ignored.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-08/cesifo1_wp2367.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2367.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2367
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  2. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Determinants of Mortality," Working Papers 235, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
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  6. Angus Deaton, 2003. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," NBER Working Papers 9822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Wu, Ximing, 2003. "Calculation of maximum entropy densities with application to income distribution," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 347-354, August.
  8. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "How Did the World's Poorest Fare in the 1990s?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(3), pages 283-300, September.
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  10. Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Racine, Jeff, 2006. "Growth And Convergence: A Profile Of Distribution Dynamics And Mobility," Departmental Working Papers 0605, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  11. Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin peaks : growth and convergence in models of distribution dynamics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2278, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Angus Deaton, 2006. "Global Patterns of Income and Health: Facts, Interpretations, and Policies," NBER Working Papers 12735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  14. Pradhan, Menno & Sahn, David E. & Younger, Stephen D., 2003. "Decomposing world health inequality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 271-293, March.
  15. Maasoumi, Esfandiar, 1986. "The Measurement and Decomposition of Multi-dimensional Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 991-97, July.
  16. Angus Deaton, 2005. "ERRATUM: Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 395-395, May.
  17. Thomas, Vinod & Wang, Yan & Fan, Xibo, 2001. "Measuring education inequality - Gini coefficients of education," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2525, The World Bank.
  18. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1355, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Angus Deaton, 2006. "Global patterns of income and health: facts, interpretations, and policies," Working Papers 231, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  20. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2006. "The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and ... Convergence, Period," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 351-397, May.
  21. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-64, July.
  22. Wu, Ximing, 2010. "Exponential Series Estimator of multivariate densities," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(2), pages 354-366, June.
  23. Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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