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Stuck in the Tunnel: Is Globalization Muddling the Middle Class?

Author

Listed:
  • Carol Graham

    ()

  • Stefano Pettinato

    ()

  • Nancy Birdsall

    ()

Abstract

Our objective in this paper is to assess how middle-income groups are faring with the global turn to the market. We suggest some simple measures of the middle-the size and income shares of households around the median (75/125%)-and their income status relative to wealthier counterparts. Our results point to genuine distributional stress for middle-income households, as well as public perceptions of such stress. They also suggest the need for new measures to capture distributional trends that are masked by aggregate measures. We posit that the fate of those in the middle merits new attention, as their political support and economic participation are critical to sustainable, market-oriented growth and poverty reduction in the long-term.

Suggested Citation

  • Carol Graham & Stefano Pettinato & Nancy Birdsall, 2000. "Stuck in the Tunnel: Is Globalization Muddling the Middle Class?," LIS Working papers 277, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:lis:liswps:277
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
    2. Roland Benabou & Efe A. Ok, 2001. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: The Poum Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 447-487.
    3. Vito Tanzi, 2000. "Globalization and the Future of Social Protection," IMF Working Papers 00/12, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Kanbur, Ravi & Lustig, Nora, 1999. "Why is Inequality Back on the Agenda?," Working Papers 127690, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    5. Cornia, G.A., 1999. "Liberalization, Globalization and Income Distribution," Research Paper 157, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H80 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - General

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