IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Nonlinear Dynamics in Welfare and the Evolution of World Inequality

  • Davide Fiaschi - Marzia Romanelli

We propose a methodology to measure countries’ welfare based on the lifetime utility of individuals and apply it to a large sample of countries. In the period 1960-2000 welfare inequality across countries appears stable as the result of increasing inequality in per capita GDP and decreasing inequality in life expectancy. However, the estimated distribution dynamics of welfare points out the emergence of three clusters of countries in 2000: one composed by low-income and low-life expectancy countries (mainly sub-Saharan countries); one by low-income but medium life expectancy countries (most of the highly populated Asian and Latin American countries); and, finally, the last one by high-income and high-life expectancy countries (almost all OECD countries). Such tendencies to polarisation are expected to strengthen in the future. In terms of the world population distribution, from 1960 to 2000 welfare inequality has been decreasing as the result of the falling inequality of both per capita GDP and life expectancy; this fall is mostly explained by the outstanding performance of the highly populated countries, mainly China and India. However, the decreasing trend is expected to be reverted (at most stabilise) in the future. Finally, the estimated distribution dynamics of welfare shows the emergence of two clusters of population, already detected in the distribution of 2000; such polarisation dynamics is expected to further intensify in the future, with the possible emergence of a cluster of populations from sub-Saharan countries.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy in its series Discussion Papers with number 2009/81.

in new window

Date of creation: 20 Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pie:dsedps:2009/81
Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Cosimo Ridolfi, 10 - 56124 PISA
Phone: +39 050 22 16 466
Fax: +39 050 22 16 384
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  2. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:1:p:39-72 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Durlauf,S.N. & Quah,D.T., 1998. "The new empirics of economic growth," Working papers 3, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. Danny Quah, 1992. "Empirical cross-section dynamics in economic growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 75, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Sherwin Rosen, . "The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 87-14, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  6. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2003. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," NBER Working Papers 9765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Esteban, J. & Ray, D., 1993. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 221.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  8. Johnson, Paul, 2003. "A Continuous State Space Approach to “Convergence by Parts”," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 54, Vassar College Department of Economics.
  9. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2005. "The value of life and the rise in health spending," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Ram, Rati, 2006. "State of the "life span revolution" between 1980 and 2000," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 518-526, August.
  11. Chotikapanich, Duangkamon & Valenzuela, Rebecca & Rao, D S Prasada, 1997. "Global and Regional Inequality in the Distribution of Income: Estimation with Limited and Incomplete Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 533-46.
  12. Fiaschi, Davide & Lavezzi, Andrea Mario, 2003. " Distribution Dynamics and Nonlinear Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 379-401, December.
  13. Gordon Anderson, 2005. "LIFE EXPECTANCY AND ECONOMIC WELFARE: THE EXAMPLE OF AFRICA IN THE 1990s," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(3), pages 455-468, 09.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pie:dsedps:2009/81. 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: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.