Seminar Papers, Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University
World Income Distribution: Which Way?
Abstract: Over the past few years, a large number of studies have
aimed at estimating changes in relative income distribution across
countries and globally. Some of the studies find the distribution to have
worsened considerably, others that it has become more even. One objective
of this article is to identify and quantify the reasons for these
conflicting results. Another objective is to highlight the difference
between changes in relative and absolute income distribution. While the
relative distribution over the entire range of countries seems to have
improved somewhat over the past 2-3 decades according to the most relevant
indicators, the absolute income gaps between rich and poor countries have
widened considerably. It is further demonstrated that these gaps will
inevitably continue to grow for many decades to come.
Keywords: income distribution; growth measurements; developing countries; population; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: D31; D63; J11; O15; O47; (follow links to similar papers)
57 pages, August 4, 2003
forthcoming in Journal of Development Studies
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