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The Ricardian Vice: Why Sala-i-Martin’s calculations of world income inequality are wrong

Author

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  • Branko Milanovic

    (World Bank)

Abstract

The paper discusses recent world income inequality calculations by Sala- i-Martin. It shows that the two main problems with which the author had to grapple (too few data to derive countries’ income distributions, and sparseness of such data in time) are not solved in a satisfactory fashion. They, and several other simplifying assumptions, make Sala-i- Martin results very dubious. We argue that Sala-i-Martin has ended up by producing a population-weighted inter-national distribution of income augmented by a constant shift parameter and not a distribution of income among world citizens.

Suggested Citation

  • Branko Milanovic, 2003. "The Ricardian Vice: Why Sala-i-Martin’s calculations of world income inequality are wrong," HEW 0305003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0305003
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    5. Danny Quah, 2002. "One Third of the World's Growth and Inequality," WIDER Working Paper Series DP2002-38, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2001. "The disturbing 'rise' of global income inequality," Economics Working Papers 616, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2002.
    7. Jordi Galí & Tommaso Monacelli, 2005. "Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 707-734.
    8. Quah, Danny, 2002. "One third of the world's growth and inequality," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2019, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Quah, Danny, 2002. "One Third of the World's Growth and Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 3316, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    12. Quah, Danny T, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 27-59, March.
    13. 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, June.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. La inequidad condenable: ´Dime donde naces…´
      by juanhmex in Pasado y Presente de la Economia Mundial on 2013-02-19 17:55:19

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bart Capéau & Andre Decoster, 2004. "The Rise or Fall of World Inequality: A Spurious Controversy?," WIDER Working Paper Series DP2004-02, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Branko Milanovic & Lyn Squire, 2007. "Does Tariff Liberalization Increase Wage Inequality? Some Empirical Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization and Poverty, pages 143-182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Chotikapanich, Duangkamon & Griffiths, William E. & Rao, D. S. Prasada, 2007. "Estimating and Combining National Income Distributions Using Limited Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 97-109, January.
    4. Walter, Paul & Weimer, Katja, 2018. "Estimating poverty and inequality indicators using interval censored income data from the German microcensus," Discussion Papers 2018/10, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    5. Rodriguez Francisco & Jayadev Arjun, 2013. "The Declining Labor Share of Income," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-18, March.
    6. Goerlich, Francisco José & Mas, Matilde, 2004. "Distribución personal de la renta en España. 1973-2001 [Personal income distribution in Spain. 1973-2001]," MPRA Paper 15830, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2004.
    7. Machiko Nissanke & Erik Thorbecke, 2005. "Channels and Policy Debate in the Globalization-Inequality-Poverty Nexus," WIDER Working Paper Series DP2005-08, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Branko Milanovic, 2005. "Global Income Inequality: What It Is And Why It Matters?," HEW 0512001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. James Galbraith, 2009. "Inequality, unemployment and growth: New measures for old controversies," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 7(2), pages 189-206, June.
    10. Yin Zhang & Guanghua Wan, 2006. "Globalization and the Urban Poor in China," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 196, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    11. Ricardo Fuentes, 2005. "Poverty, Pro-Poor Growth and Simulated Inequality Reduction," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2005-11, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    12. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2007. "International inequality and polarization in living standards, 1870-2000 : evidence from the Western World," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp07-05, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    13. Yunker, James A., 2004. "Could a Global Marshall Plan be Successful? An Investigation Using The WEEP Simulation Model," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1109-1137, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    income inequality; world; globalization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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