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‣ Closing the Coverage Gap : The Role of Social Pensions and Other Retirement Income Transfers

Holzmann, Robert; Robalino, David A.; Takayama, Noriyuki
Fonte: World Bank Publicador: World Bank
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The book has four specific objectives: (a) to discuss the role of retirement income transfers in the context of a strategy for expanding old- age income security and preventing poverty among the elderly; (b) to take stock of international experience with the design and implementation of these programs; (c) to identify key policy issues that need to receive attention during the design and implementation phases; and (d) to offer some preliminary policy recommendations and propose next steps. The chapter one discusses the rationale for retirement income transfers. The main justifications are the limited coverage of the mandatory pension systems (chapter two) and the risk of poverty during old age (chapter three). Chapter four then examines the rights, based approach to expansion of social security coverage based on the conventions and recommendations of the International Labor Organization (ILO). The middle part of the book deals with international experience. Chapters five, six, and seven reviews selected programs in low-income...

‣ Life Satisfaction and Income Inequality

Verme, Paolo
Fonte: Banco Mundial Publicador: Banco Mundial
Português
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Do people care about income inequality and does income inequality affect subjective well-being? Welfare theories can predict either a positive or a negative impact of income inequality on subjective well-being and empirical research has found evidence on a positive, negative or non significant relation. This paper attempts to determine some of the possible causes of such empirical heterogeneity. Using a very large sample of world citizens, the author tests the consistency of income inequality in predicting life satisfaction. The analysis finds that income inequality has a negative and significant effect on life satisfaction. This result is robust to changes in regressors and estimation choices and also persists across different income groups and across different types of countries. However, this relation is easily obscured or reversed by multicollinearity generated by the use of country and year fixed effects. This is particularly true if the number of data points for inequality is small, which is a common feature of cross-country or longitudinal studies.

‣ Fiscal Redistribution and Income Inequality in Latin America

Goñi, Edwin; López, J. Humberto; Servén, Luis
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Português
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Income inequality in Latin America ranks among the highest in the world. It can be traced back to the unequal distribution of assets (especially land and education) in the region. But the extent to which asset inequality translates into income inequality depends on the redistributive capacity of the state. This paper documents the performance of Latin American fiscal systems from the perspective of income redistribution using newly-available information on the incidence of taxes and transfers across the region. The findings indicate that: (i) the differences in income inequality before taxes and transfers between Latin America and Western Europe are much more modest than those after taxes and transfers; (ii) the key reason is that, in contrast with industrial countries, in most Latin American countries the fiscal system is of little help in reducing income inequality; and (iii) in countries where fiscal redistribution is significant, it is achieved mostly through transfers rather than taxes. These facts stress the need for fiscal reforms across the region to further the goal of social equity. However...

‣ Are Low Food Prices Pro-Poor? Net Food Buyers and Sellers in Low-Income Countries

Aksoy, M. Ataman; Isik-Dikmelik, Aylin
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
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There is a general consensus that most of the poor in developing countries are net food buyers and food price increases are bad for the poor. This could be expected of urban poor, but it is also often attributed to the rural poor. Recent food price increases have increased the importance of this issue, and the possible policy responses to these price increases. This paper examines the characteristics of net food sellers and buyers in nine low-income countries. Although the largest share of poor households are found to be net food buyers, almost 50 percent of net food buyers are marginal net food buyers who would not be significantly affected by food price increases. Only three of the nine countries examined exhibited a substantial proportion of vulnerable households. The average incomes (as measured by expenditure) of net food buyers were found to be higher than net food sellers in eight of the nine countries examined. Thus, food price increases, ceteris paribus, would transfer income from generally higher income net food buyers to poorer net food sellers. The analysis also finds that the occupations and income sources of net sellers and buyers in rural areas are significantly different. In rural areas where food production is the main activity and where there are limited non-food activities...

‣ Accounting for Mexican Income Inequality during the 1990s

De Hoyos, Rafael E.
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
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The author implements several inequality decomposition methods to measure the extent to which total household income disparities can be attributable to sectoral asymmetries and differences in skill endowments. The results show that at least half of total household inequality in Mexico is attributable to incomes derived from entrepreneurial activities, an income source rarely scrutinized in the inequality literature. He shows that education (skills) endowments are unevenly distributed among the Mexican population, with positive shifts in the market returns to schooling associated with increases in inequality. Asymmetries in the allocation of education explain around 20 percent of overall household income disparities in Mexico during the 1990s. Moreover, the proportion of inequality attributable to education endowments increases during stable periods and reduces during the crisis. This pattern is explained by shifts in returns to schooling rather than changes in the distribution of skills. Applying the same techniques to decompose within-sector income differences...

‣ Big Bad Banks? The Impact of U.S. Branch Deregulation on Income Distribution

Beck, Thorsten; Levine, Ross; Levkov, Alexey
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
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Policymakers and economists disagree about the impact of bank regulations on the distribution of income. Exploiting cross-state and cross-time variation, the authors test whether liberalizing restrictions on intra-state branching in the United States intensified, ameliorated, or had no effect on income distribution. The analysis finds that branch deregulation lowered income inequality by affecting labor market conditions, not by boosting the business income of the poor, nor by enhancing educational attainment. Reductions in the earnings gap between men and women and between skilled and unskilled workers account for the bulk of the explained drop in income inequality.

‣ Inequality of Opportunity, Income Inequality and Economic Mobility : Some International Comparisons

Brunori, Paolo; Ferreira, Francisco H.G.; Peragine, Vito
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
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Despite a recent surge in the number of studies attempting to measure inequality of opportunity in various countries, methodological differences have so far prevented meaningful international comparisons. This paper presents a comparison of ex-ante measures of inequality of economic opportunity (IEO) across 41 countries, and of the Human Opportunity Index (HOI) for 39 countries. It also examines international correlations between these indices and output per capita, income inequality, and intergenerational mobility. The analysis finds evidence of a "Kuznets curve" for inequality of opportunity, and finds that the IEO index is positively correlated with overall income inequality, and negatively with measures of intergenerational mobility, both in incomes and in years of schooling. The HOI is highly correlated with the Human Development Index, and its internal measure of inequality of opportunity yields very different country rankings from the IEO measure.

‣ Precautionary Saving from Different Sources of Income : Evidence from Rural Pakistan

Adams, Richard H., Jr.
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
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Few studies have tried to measure how households in a developing country save from each of the different income sources at their disposal. To help fill that gap, the Author uses five-year panel data to examine how households in rural Pakistan save from each of the seven separate sources of income. The author finds that households save from different sources of income at significantly different marginal rates. For example, the marginal propensity to save from external remittances (0.711) is much higher than that for rental income (0.085). As the precautionary model of saving suggests, the reasons for this relate to uncertainty: income that is more variable, tends to be saved at a higher marginal rate. Faced with incomplete capital, and credit markets, households in rural Pakistan save: for a rainy day" by putting away mainly those sources of income that are more variable, and uncertain.

‣ The Relative Income and Relative Deprivation Hypotheses : A Review of the Empirical Literature

Verme, Paolo
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
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The paper provides a review of the empirical literature in economics that has attempted to test the relative income hypothesis as put forward by Duesemberry (1949) and the relative deprivation hypothesis as formalized by Runciman (1966). It is argued that these two hypotheses and the empirical models used to test them are essentially similar and make use of the same relative income concept. The review covers the main intellectual contributions that led to the formulation and tests of these hypotheses, the main formulations of the utility and econometric equations used in empirical studies, the main econometric issues that complicate tests of the hypotheses, and the empirical results found in the literature. The majority of studies uses absolute and relative income together as explanatory factors in utility models and finds absolute income to have a positive and significant effect on utility (happiness). The majority of studies also finds relative income to be a significant factor in explaining utility but the sign of this relation varies across studies. The source of this variation is complex to detect given that few results are directly comparable across studies because of differences in model specifications.

‣ The Distribution of Income Shocks during Crises : An Application of Quantile Analysis to Mexico, 1992-95

Maloney, William F.; Cunningham, Wendy V.; Bosch, Mariano
Fonte: Washington, DC: World Bank Publicador: Washington, DC: World Bank
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
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Moving beyond the simple comparisons of averages typical of most analyses of household income shocks, this article employs quantile analysis to generate a complete distribution of such shocks by type of household during the 1995 crisis in Mexico. It compares the distributions across normal and crisis periods to see whether observed differences were due to the crisis or are intrinsic to the household types. Alternatively, it asks whether the distribution of shocks during normal periods was a reasonable predictor of vulnerability to income shocks during crises. It finds large differences in the distribution of shocks by household types both before and during the crisis but little change in their relative positions during the crisis. The impact appears to have been spread fairly evenly. Households headed by people with less education (poor), single mothers, or people working in the informal sector do not appear to experience disproportionate income drops either in normal times or during crises.

‣ Survey Compliance and the Distribution of Income

Mistiaen, Johan A.; Ravallion, Martin
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
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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.

‣ The Consumption, Income, and Wealth of the Poorest

De Magalhaes, Leandro; Santaeulalia-Llopis, Raul
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Trabalho em Andamento
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This paper provides new empirical insights on the joint distribution of consumption, income, and wealth in three of the poorest countries in the world — Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda — all located in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The first finding is that while income inequality is similar to that of the United States (US), wealth inequality is barely one-third that of the US. Similarly, while the top of the income distribution (1 and 10 percent) earns a similar share of total income in SSA as in the US, the share of total wealth accumulated by the income-rich in SSA is one-fifth of its US counterpart. The main contributions of the paper are to document: (i) this dwarfed transmission from income to wealth, which suggests that SSA households face a larger inability to save and accumulate wealth compared with US households; and (ii) a lower transmission from income to consumption inequality, which suggests the presence of powerful institutions that favor consumption insurance to the detriment of saving. These features are more relevant for rural areas...

‣ Poverty and Income Distribution in a High Growth Economy : The Case of Chile 1987-98, Volume 1. Main Report

World Bank
Fonte: Washington, DC Publicador: Washington, DC
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The study analyzes Chile's strong economic growth, and well directed social programs, a combination that reduced the poverty rate in half, during a period of just eleven years. The previously noted trends in falling poverty, in terms of incidence, depth, and severity, continued into 1998, and the analysis shows there was unambiguously less poverty between 1994, and 1998, observed at all levels of income. Clearly, income poverty is related to, and impacted by a number of important factors, such as level of education, larger families, or families headed by women, and employment opportunities. Evidence shows Chile achieved considerable improvements in key social indicators, i.e., infant mortality, life expectancy, and educational coverage, for the combination of the three social sector deficit measures of poverty - education, health, and housing - with the income poverty measure, reveals that fifty one percent of all households have neither social sector, nor income deficits. Nonetheless, income inequality remained high by international standards...

‣ Beyond Oaxaca-Blinder: Accounting for Differences in Household Income Distributions Across Countries

Bourguignon, Francois; Ferreira, Francisco H.G.; Leite, Phillippe G.
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, D.C. Publicador: World Bank, Washington, D.C.
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
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The authors develop a microeconometric method to account for differences across distributions of household income. Going beyond the determination of earnings in labor markets, they also estimate statistical models for occupational choice and for conditional distributions of education, fertility, and nonlabor incomes. The authors import combinations of estimated parameters from these models to simulate counterfactual income distributions. This allows them to decompose differences between functionals of two income distributions (such as inequality or poverty measures) into shares because of differences in the structure of labor market returns (price effects), differences in the occupational structure, and differences in the underlying distribution of assets (endowment effects). The authors apply the method to the differences between the Brazilian income distribution and those of Mexico and the United States, and find that most of Brazil's excess income inequality is due to underlying inequalities in the distribution of two key endowments: access to education and to sources of nonlabor income...

‣ Human Capital, Trade Liberalization, and Income Risk

Krebs, Tom; Krishna, Pravin; Maloney, William
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
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Using data from Mexico, the authors study empirically the link between trade policy and individual income risk and the extent to which this varies across workers of different human capital (education) levels. They use longitudinal income data on workers to estimate time-varying individual income risk parameters in different manufacturing sectors in Mexico between 1987 and 1998, a period in which the Mexican economy experienced substantial changes in trade policy. In a second step, they use the variations in trade policy across different sectors and over time to estimate the link between trade policy and income risk for workers of varying education levels. The authors' findings are as follows. The level of openness of an economy is not found to be related to income risk for workers of any type. Furthermore, changes in trade policy (that is, trade policy reforms) are not found to have any effect on the risk to income faced by workers with either low or high levels of human capital. But workers with intermediate levels of human capital are found to experience a statistically and economically significant increase in income risk immediately following liberalization of trade. The findings thus point to an interesting non-monotonicity in the interaction between human capital...

‣ How Mexico's Financial Crisis Affected Income Distribution

Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys; Salinas, Angel
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research; Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper
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After Mexico's financial crisis in 1994, the distribution of income, and labor earnings improved. Did inequality increase during the recession, as one would expect, since the rich have more ways to protect their assets than the poor do? After all, labor is poor people's only asset (the labor-hoarding hypothesis). In principle, one could argue that the richest deciles experienced severe capital losses, because of the crisis in 1994-96, and were hurt proportionately more than the poor were. But the facts don't support this hypothesis. As a share of total income, both monetary income (other than wages, and salaries) and financial income, increased during that period, especially in urban areas. Financial income is a growing source of inequality in Mexico. Mexico's economy had a strong performance in 1997. The aggregate growth rate was about 7 percent, real investment grew 24 percent, and exports 17 percent, industrial production increased 9.7 percent, and growth in civil construction (which makes intensive use of less skilled labor) was close to 11 percent. Given those figures, it is not surprising that the distribution of income, and labor earnings improved, but the magnitude, and quickness of the recovery prompted a close inspection of the mechanisms responsible for it. The authors analyze the decline in income inequality after the crisis...

‣ Global Redistribution of Income

Bourguignon, François; Levin, Victoria; Rosenblatt, David
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
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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...

‣ An Assessment of Housing for Low-income Groups in Danang : Phase II Report

World Bank
Fonte: Washington, DC Publicador: Washington, DC
Tipo: Economic & Sector Work :: Other Urban Study; Economic & Sector Work
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In August 2004, in response to a request from the Government of Vietnam (GOV), the WB/ IDA launched preparatory activities for the Priority Infrastructure Investment Project (PIIP) in Danang. The PIIP is a multi-sectoral infrastructure investment initiative aimed at poverty reduction and the promotion of economic growth. The Project reflects the national goals set out in the Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (CPRGS), and is in line with the overall development priorities of the City's Five-Year (2006-200) Socio-Economic Development Plan (SEDP). The (PIIP) Project objectives are to: i) improve the living conditions and productivity of low income residents through better access to basic services; ii) promote economic growth through strategic investments that enhance mobility and increase private sector participation in the City's economic development; and iii) improve city and district level management through institutional and human resource development and capacity building. During the course of (PIIP) Project preparation activities...

‣ Hunting for Leopards : Long Run Country Income Dynamics in Africa

Arbache, Jorge Saba; Page, John
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
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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.

‣ Appraising Cross-National Income Inequality Databases; An Introduction

Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Lustig, Nora; Teles, Daniel
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Working Paper; Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
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In response to a growing interest in comparing inequality levels and trends across countries, several cross-national inequality databases are now available. These databases differ considerably in purpose, coverage, data sources, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and quality of documentation. A special issue of the Journal of Economic Inequality, which this paper introduces, is devoted to an assessment of the merits and shortcomings of eight such databases. Five of these sets are microdata-based: CEPALSTAT, Income Distribution Database, Luxembourg Income Study, PovcalNet, and Socio-Economic Database for Latin America and the Caribbean. Two are based on secondary sources: All the Ginis and the World Income Inequality Database; and one is generated entirely through multiple-imputation methods: the Standardized World Income Inequality Database. Although there is much agreement across these databases, there is also a nontrivial share of country/year cells for which substantial discrepancies exist. In some cases...