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Half a World: Regional inequality in five great federations

Author

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  • Branko Milanovic

    (World Bank; Carnegie Endowment)

Abstract

The paper studies regional (spatial) inequality in five most populous countries in the world: China, India, the United States of America, Indonesia and Brazil in the period 1980-2000. They are all federations composed of entities (states or provinces) with substantial autonomy. Two types of regional inequalities are considered: Concept 1 inequality which is inequality between mean incomes (GDPs per capita) of states/provinces and Concert 2 inequality which is inequality between population-weighted regional mean incomes. The first inequality speaks to the issues of income convergence, the second, to the issue of overall inequality as perceived by citizens within a nation. China and India show rising inequality in terms of both concepts in the decade of the 1990’s; Indonesia, on the contrary, displays decreasing inequality in both from the early 1980’s up to the Asian crisis. Overall, we find that openness is negatively associated with Concept 1 regional inequality, and positively with Concept 2 inequality. Openness thus seems to help poorer regions (within nations) to catch up, but also leads to disparity in outcomes for populous states with some getting ahead and others falling behind. Maharashtra vs. Bihar, and Shandong vs. Sichuan provide nice examples of such outcomes in India and China. Higher inflation and higher real interest rate are also associated with greater Concept 2 regional inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Branko Milanovic, 2004. "Half a World: Regional inequality in five great federations," Urban/Regional 0404002, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpur:0404002
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 60
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Branko Milanovic, 2002. "True World Income Distribution, 1988 and 1993: First Calculation Based on Household Surveys Alone," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 51-92, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Raul M. Silveira-Neto & Carlos R. Azzoni, 2012. "Social Policy As Regional Policy: Market And Nonmarket Factors Determining Regional Inequality," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 433-450, August.
    2. Breinlich, Holger & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2014. "Regional Growth and Regional Decline," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 4, pages 683-779 Elsevier.
    3. Nissanke, Machiko & Thorbecke, Erik, 2006. "Channels and policy debate in the globalization-inequality-poverty nexus," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1338-1360, August.
    4. Facchini, Giovanni & Testa, Cecilia, 2008. "Fiscal decentralization, regional inequality and bail-outs: Lessons from Brazil's debt crisis," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 333-344, May.
    5. Ezcurra, Roberto & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2013. "Does Economic Globalization affect Regional Inequality? A Cross-country Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 92-103.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/284 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Naranpanawa, Athula & Arora, Rashmi, 2014. "Does Trade Liberalization Promote Regional Disparities? Evidence from a Multiregional CGE Model of India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 339-349.
    8. Ashwini Deshpande, 2007. "Overlapping Identities under Liberalization: Gender and Caste in India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 735-760.
    9. Lu, Jiangyong & Liu, Xiaohui & Filatotchev, Igor & Wright, Mike, 2014. "The impact of domestic diversification and top management teams on the international diversification of Chinese firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 455-467.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; India; USA; Brazil; Indonesia; regional inequality; world inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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