Data from the nationally representative US NHANES III cohort were used to examine the hypothesis that socio-economic status is consistently and negatively associated with levels of biological risk, as measured by nine biological parameters known to predict health risks (diastolic and systolic blood pressure, pulse, HDL and total cholesterol, glycosylated hemoglobin, c-reactive protein, albumin and waist-hip ratio), resulting in greater cumulative burdens of biological risk among those of lower education and/or income. As hypothesized, consistent education and income gradients were seen for biological parameters reflecting cardiovascular, metabolic and inflammatory risk: those with lower education and income exhibiting greater prevalence of high risk values for each of nine individual biological risk factors. Significant education and income gradients were also seen for summary indices reflecting cumulative burdens of cardiovascular, metabolic and inflammatory risks as well as overall total biological risks. Multivariable cumulative logistic regression models revealed that the education and income effects were each independently and negatively associated with cumulative biological risks, and that these effects remained significant independent of age...
The present study uses the GIDD, a
CGE-microsimulation model for Global Income Distribution
Dynamics, to understand the ex-ante dynamics of global
income distribution. Three main robust results emerge.
First, under a set of realistic assumptions, there will be a
reduction in global income inequality by 2030. This
potential reduction can be fully accounted for by the
projected convergence in average incomes across countries,
with poor and populous countries growing faster than the
rest of the world. Second, this convergence process will be
accompanied by a widening of income distribution in
two-thirds of the developing countries; the main cause being
increasing skill premia. Third, a trend that may
counter-balance the potential anti-globalization sentiment
is the emergence of a global middle class: a group of
consumers who demand access to, and have the means to
purchase, international goods and services. The results show
that the share of these consumers in the global population
is likely to more than double in the next 20 years. These
ex-ante trends in global income distribution suggest that
the mid-1990s could be seen as a turning point after which
global inequality began showing a negative tendency.
In many poor countries, the recent
increases in prices of staple foods raise the real incomes
of those selling food, many of whom are relatively poor,
while hurting net food consumers, many of whom are also
relatively poor. The impacts on poverty will certainly be
very diverse, but the average impact on poverty depends upon
the balance between these two effects, and can only be
determined by looking at real-world data. Results using
household data for ten observations on nine low-income
countries show that the short-run impacts of higher staple
food prices on poverty differ considerably by commodity and
by country, but, that poverty increases are much more
frequent, and larger, than poverty reductions. The recent
large increases in food prices appear likely to raise
overall poverty in low income countries substantially.
These days it seems that almost everyone
in the development community is talking about "pro-poor
growth." What exactly is it, and how can we measure it?
Is ordinary economic growth always "pro-poor
growth" or is that some special kind of growth? And if
it is something special, what makes it happen? The author
first reviews alternative approaches to defining and
measuring "pro-poor growth." He then analyzes
evidence on whether growth is pro-poor, what factors make it
more pro-poor (including the role played by both initial
inequality and changing inequality), and whether the factors
that make the distribution of the gains from growth pro-poor
come at a cost to growth. The author identifies some
priorities for future research.
The paper presents a newly compiled and
improved database of national household surveys between 1988
and 2008. In 2008, the global Gini index is around 70.5
percent having declined by approximately 2 Gini points over
this twenty year period. When it is adjusted for the likely
under-reporting of top incomes in surveys by using the gap
between national accounts consumption and survey means in
combination with a Pareto-type imputation of the upper tail,
the estimate is a much higher global Gini of almost 76
percent. With such an adjustment the downward trend in the
Gini almost disappears. Tracking the evolution of individual
country-deciles shows the underlying elements that drive the
changes in the global distribution: China has graduated from
the bottom ranks, modifying the overall shape of the global
income distribution in the process and creating an important
global "median" class that has transformed a
twin-peaked 1988 global distribution into an almost
single-peaked one now. The "winners" were
country-deciles that in 1988 were around the median of the
global income distribution...
By the widely used
difference-in-difference method, the Southwest China Poverty
Reduction Project had little impact on the proportion of
people in beneficiary villages consuming less than $1 a
day-despite a public outlay of $400 million. Is that right,
or is the true impact being hidden somehow? The authors find
that impact estimates are quite sensitive to the choice of
outcome indicator, the poverty line, and the matching
method. There are larger poverty impacts at lower poverty
lines. And there are much larger impacts on incomes than
consumptions. Uncertainty about the impact probably made it
hard for participants to infer the gain in permanent income,
so they saved a high proportion of the short-term gain.
While it is improbable that households
with different incomes are equally likely to participate in
sample surveys, the lack of data for nonrespondents has
hindered efforts to correct for the bias in measures of
poverty and inequality. The authors demonstrate how the
latent income effect on survey compliance can be estimated
using readily available data on response rates across
geographic areas. An application using the Current
Population Survey for the United States indicates that
compliance falls as income rises. Correcting for selective
compliance appreciably increases mean income and inequality,
but has only a small impact on poverty incidence up to
commonly used poverty lines in the United States.
Social welfare functions that assign
weights to individuals based on their income levels can be
used to document the relative importance of growth and
inequality changes for changes in social welfare. In a large
panel of industrial and developing countries over the past
40 years, most of the cross-country and over-time variation
in changes in social welfare is due to changes in average
incomes. In contrast, the changes in inequality observed
during this period are on average much smaller than changes
in average incomes, are uncorrelated with changes in average
incomes, and have contributed relatively little to changes
in social welfare.
The author considers poverty as an
aggregate negative externality that affects people in
different ways, depending on their aversion to poverty. If
society is on average averse to poverty, then the optimal
income tax schedule displays negative marginal tax rates, at
least for less skilled individuals. Negative marginal tax
rates play the role of a Pigouvian earnings subsidy,
fostering the supply of poor individuals to provide labor.
The result of no distortion at the endpoints, which is
therefore violated, can be restored once the focus is
shifted from individual to social distortions.
In theory, it is possible that the persistent poverty that has emerged in many transition economies, is attributable to underlying, non-convexities in the dynamics of household incomes - such that a vulnerable household will never recover from a sufficiently large, but short-lived shock to its income. This happens when there are multiple equilibria in household incomes, such that two households with the same characteristics, can have different incomes in the long run. To test the theory, the authors estimate a dynamic, panel data model of household incomes, with non-linear dynamics, and endogenous attrition. Their estimates, using data for Hungary in the 1990s, exhibit non-linearity in the income dynamics. The authors find no evidence of multiple equilibria. In general, households bounce back from transient shocks, although the process is not rapid.
This paper presents a new methodology to
measure inequality that optimally combines household survey
information and tax records to construct a complete income
distribution. Combining the two data sources is necessary
because, on the one hand, household surveys do not
accurately represent the wealthiest segment of the
population, while tax records do; on the other hand, the
opposite is true for the lower end of the income
distribution: tax records only include incomes above a
certain threshold. The key innovation of the proposed
methodology—and the main difference from the existing
literature—is the choice of an optimal income threshold b.
The Gini coefficient for the population is then computed
combining the conditional income distributions for incomes
below b (using household survey data) and above b (using tax
records). Central to this methodology is the fact that b is
not chosen arbitrarily: it should be determined in such a
way as to minimize reliance on household survey data to
compute the top of the income distribution. In practice...
Background: Patients living under better socioeconomic circumstances often receive more active treatments after an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) compared to less affluent patients. However, most previous studies were performed in countries with less comprehensive coverage for medical services. In this Swedish nation-wide longitudinal study we wanted to evaluate long-term survival after AMI in relation to socioeconomic position (SEP) and use of revascularization. Methods: From the Swedish Myocardial Infarction Register we identified all 45 to 84-year-old patients (16,041 women and 30,366 men) alive 28 days after their first AMI during the period 1993 to 1996. We obtained detailed information on the use of revascularization, cumulative household income from the 1975 and 1990 censuses and 5-year survival after the AMI. Results: Patients with the highest cumulative income (adding the values of the quartile categories of income in 1975 and 1990) underwent a revascularization procedure within one month after their first AMI two to three times as often as patients with the lowest cumulative income and had half the risk of death within five years. The socioeconomic differences in the use of revascularization procedures could not be explained by differences in co-morbidity or type of hospital at first admission. Patients who underwent revascularization showed a similar lowered mortality risk in the different income groups...
BACKGROUND: Poor housing affordability affects around 10% of the Australian population and is increasingly prevalent. The authors tested two hypotheses: that cumulative exposure to housing affordability stress (HAS) is associated with poorer mental health and that effects vary by gender. METHODS: The authors estimated the relationship between cumulative exposure to HAS and mental health among 15 478 participants in an Australian longitudinal survey between 2001 and 2009. Individuals were classified as being in HAS if household income was in the lowest 40% of the national distribution and housing costs exceeded 30% of income. Exposure to HAS ranged from 1 to 8 annual waves. Mental health was measured using the Short Form 36 Mental Component Summary(MCS) score. To test the extent to which any observed associations were explained by compositional factors, random-and fixed-effects models were estimated. RESULTS: In the random-effects models, mental health scores decreased with increasing cumulative exposure to HAS (up until 4+ years). This relationship differed by gender, with a stronger dose-response observed among men. The mean MCS score of men experiencing four to eight waves of housing stress was 2.02 points lower than men not in HAS (95% CI _3.89 to _0.16). In the fixed-effects models...
OBJECTIVES: To assess income-based life-course models between the age of 13 and 30 years and caries in young adults. METHODS: In 1988-89, n = 7673 South Australian school children aged 13 years were sampled with n = 4604 children (60.0%) and n = 4476 parents (58.3%) returning questionnaires. In 2005-06, n = 632 baseline study participants aged 30 years responded (43.0% of those traced and living in Adelaide). Life-course models representing critical period, cumulative risk and social mobility were constructed using income tertiles at ages 13 and 30 years. Critical period was evaluated by comparing the low tertile with the middle and higher tertiles at age 13. Cumulative risk was evaluated by coding the low tertile as 2, the middle tertile as 1 and highest tertile as 0, and summing to produce a cumulative risk score categorized into lower (score 0-1), moderate (score of 2) and higher risk (scores 3-4). Social mobility was classified using tertiles into stable disadvantaged, downwardly mobile, stable middle income, upwardly mobile and stable advantaged. RESULTS: Models adjusting for sex, visiting and toothbrushing at age 30 showed no association between caries at age 30 and low income at age 13 years (critical period model). Compared to the low cumulative risk group based on income...
Concerns about incentives and targeting naturally arise when cash transfers are used to fight poverty. The authors address these concerns in the context of China's Di Bao program, which uses means-tested transfers to try to assure that no registered urban resident has an income below a stipulated poverty line. There is little sign in the data of poverty traps due to high benefit withdrawal rates. Targeting performance is excellent by various measures. Di Bao appears to be better targeted than any other program in the developing world. However, all but one measure of targeting performance is found to be uninformative, or even deceptive, about impacts on poverty. The authors find that the majority of the poor are not receiving help, even with a generous allowance for measurement errors. While on paper, Di Bao would eliminate urban poverty, it falls well short of that ideal in practice.
The vision 2021 plan and the associated
perspective plan 2010-2021, adopted by the Government of
Bangladesh lay out a series of development targets for 2021.
Among the core targets identified to monitor the progress
toward the vision 2021 objectives is that of attaining a
poverty headcount of 14 percent by 2021. The purpose of this
paper is to answer the following question: given
Bangladesh's performance in poverty reduction over the
last decades, can the author expect the proportion of the
country's population living in poverty to be 14 percent
by 2022? Using data from the last three household income and
expenditures survey, we examine changes in poverty rates
during 2000-2010, estimate net elasticity of poverty
reduction to growth in per-capita expenditure, and then
project poverty headcounts into the future. Our poverty
projections based on the last three Household Income and
Expenditure Surveys (HIES) surveys suggest that Bangladesh
will achieve its Millennium Development Goal, or MDG goal of
halving its poverty headcount to 28.5 percent by 2015
significantly ahead of schedule. Attaining the vision 2021
poverty target of 14 percent by 2021...
The paper presents an overview of
calculations of global inequality, recently and over the
long-run as well as main controversies and political and
philosophical implications of the findings. It focuses in
particular on the winners and losers of the most recent
episode of globalization, from 1988 to 2008. It suggests
that the period might have witnessed the first decline in
global inequality between world citizens since the
Industrial Revolution. The decline however can be sustained
only if countries' mean incomes continue to converge
(as they have been doing during the past ten years) and if
internal (within-country) inequalities, which are already
high, are kept in check. Mean-income convergence would also
reduce the huge "citizenship premium" that is
enjoyed today by the citizens of rich countries.
Drawing on a compilation of data from
household surveys representing 130 countries, many over a
period of 25 years, this paper reviews the evidence on
levels and recent trends in global poverty and income
inequality. It documents the negative correlations between
both poverty and inequality indices, on the one hand, and
mean income per capita on the other. It points to the
dominant role of Asia in accounting for the bulk of the
world's poverty reduction since 1981. The evolution of
global inequality in the last decades is also described,
with special emphasis on the different trends of inequality
within and between countries. The statistical relationships
between growth, inequality and poverty are discussed, as is
the correlation between inequality and the growth elasticity
of poverty reduction. Some of the recent literature on the
drivers of distributional change in developing countries is
The actual distribution of world income across countries is extremely unequal, much higher than the within country inequality faced by most countries. The question studied in this paper is: How do international policies on aid, trade, and factor movements affect the international distribution of income? To begin to answer this question, the authors calculate the impact by decile of the actual level of aid flows and the effect on potential income of merchandise trade restrictions by high-income countries. They find that aid's distributional impact is equality enhancing. While it is extremely small in terms of changes in standard inequality measures, it is of some importance for the lowest decile of the world's income distribution. The authors also find that some of this impact is counteracted by lost potential income in the lower deciles from merchandise trade barriers imposed by high-income countries. In brief, there is a contradiction in international policies where aid's equality-enhancing effect is somewhat offset by protectionism. They also discuss some of the analytical difficulties with extending this analysis of redistribution to other forms of international factor flows-more specifically, migrant worker and profit remittances. The analysis presented is partial and static and ignores within country distribution. As such...
This paper examines the country-level
dynamics of long-run growth in Africa between 1975 and 2005.
The authors examine how growth has affected mobility and the
distribution of income among countries. They analyze
changes in cross-country income structure and convergence,
and look for evidence of the formation of country groups or
"clubs." Using a novel method of breaking up the
growth histories of African economies into medium-term
spells of growth accelerations and declines, the authors
investigate whether a group of African "leopards"
- the regional equivalent of Asia's "tigers"
- is beginning to emerge.