Is Economic Growth Good for the Poor? Tracking Low Incomes Using General Means
In this paper we propose the use of an alternative methodology to track low incomes based on Atkinson`s (1970) family of "equally distributed equivalent income" functions, which are called "general means" here. We provide a new characterization of general means that justifies their use in this context. Our method of evaluating the effects of growth on poor incomes is based on a comparison of growth rates for two standards of living: the ordinary mean and a bottom-sensitive general mean. The motivating question is: To what extent is growth in the ordinary mean accompanied by growth in the general mean? A key indicator in this approach is the growth elasticity of the general mean, or the percentage change in the general mean over the percentage change in the usual mean. Our empirical analysis estimates this growth elasticity for a data set containing 144 household surveys from 20 countries over the last quarter century. Among other results, we find that the growth elasticity of bottom sensitive general means is positive, but significantly smaller than one. This suggests that the incomes of the poor do not grow one-for-one with increases in average income.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1300 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20577|
Web page: http://www.iadb.org/res
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mattias Lundberg & Lyn Squire, 2003. "The simultaneous evolution of growth and inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 326-344, 04.
- Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Heng-fu Zou, 1998.
"Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality,"
CEMA Working Papers
73, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Li, Hongyi & Squire, Lyn & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 26-43, January.
- Deaton, A., 2000.
"Counting the World's Poor: Problems and Possible Solutions,"
197, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Angus Deaton, 2000. "Counting the world's poor: problems and possible solutions," Working Papers 212, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Ravallion, Martin & Shaohua Chen, 1996.
"What can new survey data tell us about recent changes in distribution and poverty?,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1694, The World Bank.
- Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 1997. "What Can New Survey Data Tell Us about Recent Changes in Distribution and Poverty?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 357-82, May.
- Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975, May.
- Smolensky, Eugene, et al, 1994. "Growth, Inequality, and Poverty: A Cautionary Note," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(2), pages 217-22, June.
- Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
- Anthony B. Atkinson & Andrea Brandolini, 2000.
"Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of 'Secondary' Data-Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries,"
Temi di discussione (Economic working papers)
379, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Atkinson, A.B. & Brandolini, A., 2000. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of 'Secondary' Data -Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries," Papers 379, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
- Anand, Sudhir & Kanbur, S M R, 1985. "Poverty under the Kuznets Process," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380a), pages 42-50, Supplemen.
- Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995.
"Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
- M Arellano & O Bover, 1990. "Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Morley, Samuel A., 2000. "La distribución de ingreso en América Latina y el Caribe," Copublicaciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 1657 edited by Cepal, October.
- Panizza, Ugo, 2002. " Income Inequality and Economic Growth: Evidence from American Data," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 25-41, March.
- Ahluwalia, Montek S., 1976. "Inequality, poverty and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 307-342, December.
- James E. Foster & Artyom A. Shneyerov, 1999. "A general class of additively decomposable inequality measures," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 89-111.
- de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2000. "Growth, Poverty, and Inequality in Latin America: A Causal Analysis, 1970-94," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(3), pages 267-87, September.
- Foster, James E & Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1988. "Poverty Orderings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 173-77, January.
- W. M. Gorman, 1968. "The Structure of Utility Functions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(4), pages 367-390.
- Charles Blackorby & David Donaldson & Maria Auersperg, 1981. "A New Procedure for the Measurement of Inequality within and among Population Subgroups," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 14(4), pages 665-85, November.
- Ahluwalia, Montek S. & Carter, Nicholas G. & Chenery, Hollis B., 1979. "Growth and poverty in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 299-341, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4269. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Monica Bazan)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.