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Twin Peaks or Three Components? - Analyzing the World\'s Cross-Country Distribution of Income

Author

Listed:
  • Hajo Holzmann

    (Institute of Stochastics, University of Karlsruhe / Germany)

  • Sebastian Vollmer

    () (Ibero-America Institute, University of Goettingen / Germany)

  • Julian Weisbrod

    (Department of Economics, University of Goettingen / Germany)

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the world´s cross-national distribution of income and its evolution from 1970 to 2003. We argue that modeling this distribution by a finite mixture and investigating its number of components has advantages over nonparametric inference concerning the number of modes. In particular, the number of components of the distribution does not depend on the scale chosen (original or logarithmic), whereas the number of modes does. Instead of so-called twin-peaks, we find that the distribution appears to have only two components in 1970-1975, but consists of three components from 1976 onwards, a low, average and high mean-income group, with group means diverging over time. Here we apply recently developed modified likelihood ratio tests for the number of components in a finite mixture. The intra distributional dynamics are investigated in detail using posterior probability estimates.

Suggested Citation

  • Hajo Holzmann & Sebastian Vollmer & Julian Weisbrod, 2007. "Twin Peaks or Three Components? - Analyzing the World\'s Cross-Country Distribution of Income," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 162, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:iaidps:162
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    File URL: http://www2.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/ibero/papers/DB162.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Racine, Jeff & Stengos, Thanasis, 2007. "Growth and convergence: A profile of distribution dynamics and mobility," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 483-508, February.
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    4. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    5. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    6. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    8. Hanfeng Chen & Jiahua Chen & John D. Kalbfleisch, 2004. "Testing for a finite mixture model with two components," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 66(1), pages 95-115.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:revinw:v:63:y:2017:i:4:p:608-632 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Vollmer, Sebastian & Ziegler, Maria, 2009. "Political Institutions and Human Development Does Democracy Fulfill its 'Constructive' and 'Instrumental' Role?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4818, The World Bank.
    3. Răileanu-Szeles, Monica & Albu, Lucian, 2015. "Nonlinearities and divergences in the process of European financial integration," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 416-425.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cross-national income distribution; mixture models; modified likelihood ratio test; nonparametric density estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • F01 - International Economics - - General - - - Global Outlook

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