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Inequality in the Distribution of Personal Income in the World: How it is Changing and Why


  • T. Paul Schultz

    () (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)


The variance in the logarithms of per capita GDP in purchasing-power-parity prices increased prices increased in the world from 1960 to 1968 and decreased since the mid 1970s. In the later period the convergence in intercountry incomes more than offset any increase in within country inequality. Approximately two-thirds of this measure of world inequality is intercountry, three-tenths interhousehold within country inequality, and one-twentieth between gender differences in education. If China is excluded from the world sample, the decline in world inequality after 1975 is not evident. Measuring confidently trends in household and gender inequality will require much improved data.

Suggested Citation

  • T. Paul Schultz, 1998. "Inequality in the Distribution of Personal Income in the World: How it is Changing and Why," Working Papers 784, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:784

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bhagwati, Jagdish N & Krueger, Anne O, 1973. "Exchange Control, Liberalization, and Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 419-427, May.
    2. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
    4. Alwyn Young, 1992. "A Tale of Two Cities: Factor Accumulation and Technical Change in Hong Kong and Singapore," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 13-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:03:p:567-576_10 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    world inequality; household inequality; gender inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination


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