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Relative mortality improvements as a marker of socio-economic inequality across the developing world, 1990-2009

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  • Deepankar Basu

    () (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Abstract

Using cross country regressions, this paper constructs a novel distance-to-frontier metric for tracking broad socio-onomic inequality (including access of the poor to health infrastructure) over time for individual countries. Given the unavailability of reliable and consistent direct measures of inequality for most poor countries, especially related to non-income aspects of living standards, the metric developed in this paper can be used as an alternative indirect measure that is intuitive and easy to compute. To highlight its potential use, the metric is used to rank countries in terms of improvements in socio-economic inequality for the period since 1990. Notable examples of poor performance are displayed by China, Thailand, Kenya and India. JEL Categories: I14, O57, I32.

Suggested Citation

  • Deepankar Basu, 2011. "Relative mortality improvements as a marker of socio-economic inequality across the developing world, 1990-2009," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2011-27, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2011-27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brett-Crowther, M. R., 1983. "Poverty and famines an essay on entitlement and deprivation : Amartya Sen Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 1981, 257 pp. [UK pound]8.95," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 94-95, February.
    2. Étienne Gilbert, 1983. "A. Sen, Poverty and Famines, an essay on Entitlement and Deprivation," Revue Tiers Monde, Programme National Persée, vol. 24(93), pages 211-211.
    3. Martin Hart-Landsberg, 2011. "The Chinese Reform Experience: A Critical Assessment," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 43(1), pages 56-76, March.
    4. Sen, Amartya, 1983. "Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284635.
    5. M. Anne Hill & Elizabeth King, 1995. "Women's education and economic well-being," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 21-46.
    6. Lant Pritchett & Martina Viarengo, 2010. "Explaining the Cross-National Time Series Variation in Life Expectancy: Income, Women’s Education, Shifts, and What Else?," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-31, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    life expectancy at birth; Preston regression; socio-economic inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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