IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Kuznets’S Hypothesis And The Data Constraint


  • Argentino Pessoa

    () (Faculdade de Economia da Universidade do Porto, Portugal)


Five decades ago, Simon Kuznets expressed an important hypothesis about the relationship between the degree of income inequality within a country and its level of economic development: the Kuznets’s inverted-U hypothesis. The lack of longitudinal data has forced the use of cross-section or pooled datasets in order to draw conclusions about that relationship. In the present note we highlight the lack of international comparability of surveys where the measures of inequality are based, and we show two main findings: 1) data comparability goes on constituting a problem, particularly in what respects to the different welfare indicators used in national surveys, and 2) the procedure usually used to minimize the problem of noncomparability is likely to enforce the bias rather than to solve it.

Suggested Citation

  • Argentino Pessoa, 2008. "Kuznets’S Hypothesis And The Data Constraint," FEP Working Papers 267, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  • Handle: RePEc:por:fepwps:267

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
    2. Arturo Estrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2002. "Dynamic Inconsistencies: Counterfactual Implications of a Class of Rational-Expectations Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1013-1028, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Inequality; Kuznets’s hypothesis; economic development; income distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:por:fepwps:267. 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: (). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.