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Journal Article

The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and... Convergence, Period

Xavier Sala-i-Martin
The Quarterly Journal of Economics
Vol. 121, No. 2 (May, 2006), pp. 351-397
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25098796
Page Count: 47
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The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and... Convergence, Period
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Abstract

We estimate the World Distribution of Income by integrating individual income distributions for 138 countries between 1970 and 2000. Country distributions are constructed by combining national accounts GDP per capita to anchor the mean with survey data to pin down the dispersion. Poverty rates and head counts are reported for four specific poverty lines. Rates in 2000 were between one-third and one-half of what they were in 1970 for all four lines. There were between 250 and 500 million fewer poor in 2000 than in 1970. We estimate eight indexes of income inequality implied by our world distribution of income. All of them show reductions in global inequality during the 1980s and 1990s.

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