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Decomposing changes in income inequality into vertical and horizontal redistribution and reranking, withapplications to China and Vietnam

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  • Wagstaff, Adam

Abstract

It is acknowledged that the lack of any systematic link between growth and income inequality does not necessarily mean that economic growth is not accompanied by major changes in the underlying income distribution. The author uses a method devised to decompose the redistributive effect of a tax to analyze the extent to which vertical redistribution associated with changing incomes over time is offset or reinforced by horizontal redistribution and re-ranking. He uses panel data from China and Vietnam over a period when both countries grew spectacularly as they transitioned from planned to market economies, and yet experienced smaller annual percentage increases in income inequality. The results suggest that substantial amounts of horizontal redistribution and re-ranking in both China-and to a lesser extent Vietnam-more than offset pro-poor vertical redistribution. Without the horizontal redistribution and re-ranking, the Gini coefficient for China might have fallen between 1989 and 1997-substantially so.

Suggested Citation

  • Wagstaff, Adam, 2005. "Decomposing changes in income inequality into vertical and horizontal redistribution and reranking, withapplications to China and Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3559, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3559
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Zhuo & Eastwood, David B. & Yen, Steven T., 2007. "A decade's story of childhood malnutrition inequality in China: Where you live does matter," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 139-154.
    2. Zhu, Nong & Luo, Xubei, 2006. "Nonfarm activity and rural income inequality : a case study of two provinces in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3811, The World Bank.
    3. Saccone Donatella, 2008. "Educational Inequality and Educational Poverty. the Chinese Case in the Period 1975-2004," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200808, University of Turin.
    4. Saccone Donatella, 2011. "Potenze economiche emergenti: Cina e India a confronto.Istruzione e diseguaglianze," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201113, University of Turin.
    5. Zhu, Nong & Luo, Xubei, 2008. "The impact of remittances on rural poverty and inequality in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4637, The World Bank.
    6. Jim Cobbe, 2007. "Education, Education Financing, and the Economy in Viet Nam," Working Papers wp2007_11_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University, revised Jul 2009.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Governance Indicators; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research;

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