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Riding the Elephants: The Evolution of World Economic Growth and Income Distribution at the End of the Twentieth Century (1980-2000)

  • Albert Berry
  • John Serieux
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    This paper presents estimates of world economic growth for 1970-2000, and changes in the intercountry and interpersonal distribution of world income between 1980 and 2000. These estimates suggest that, while the rate of growth of the world economy slowed in the 1980-2000 period, and average within-country inequality worsened, the distribution of world income among individuals, nevertheless, improved a little. However, that result was wholly due to the exceptional economic performances of China and India. Outside these two countries, the slowdown in world growth was even more dramatic, the distribution of world income unequivocally worsened, and poverty rates remained largely unchanged.

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    File URL: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2006/wp27_2006.pdf
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    Paper provided by United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs in its series Working Papers with number 27.

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    Length: 36 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:une:wpaper:27
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/working-papers.html
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    1. Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Does Globalization Make the World More Unequal?," NBER Working Papers 8228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Steve Dowrick & Muhammad Akmal, 2005. "Contradictory Trends In Global Income Inequality: A Tale Of Two Biases ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(2), pages 201-229, 06.
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    4. Lant Pritchett, 1997. "Divergence, Big Time," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 3-17, Summer.
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    7. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    8. Ben-David, Dan, 1993. "Equalizing Exchange: Trade Liberalization and Income Convergence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 653-79, August.
    9. Donald J. Robbins, 1996. "Evidence on Trade and Wages in the Developing World," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 119, OECD Publishing.
    10. Dowrick, Steve & Quiggin, John, 1997. "True Measures of GDP and Convergence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 41-64, March.
    11. Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2004. "How Have the World's Poorest Fared since the Early 1980s?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 141-169.
    12. Altimer, Oscar, 1987. "Income Distribution Statistics in Latin America and Their Reliability," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 33(2), pages 111-55, June.
    13. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
    14. Cornia, Giovanni Andrea (ed.), 2004. "Inequality, Growth, and Poverty in an Era of Liberalization and Globalization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199271412, March.
    15. Bliss, Christopher, 1989. "Trade and development," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 23, pages 1187-1240 Elsevier.
    16. Evans, David, 1989. "Alternative perspectives on trade and development," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1241-1304 Elsevier.
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