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‣ Rising Income Inequality in China : A Race to the Top

Luo, Xubei; Zhu, Nong
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Português
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Income inequality in China has risen rapidly in the past decades across regions, between rural and urban sectors, and within provinces. The dynamics of divergence across these sub-national areas have taken the form of a "race to the top" - meaning that all segments of the population, including the poor with low education in lagging inland rural areas, have experienced gains in average income. The largest gains have been registered by those with higher income and education in leading coastal urban areas. Using the China Economic, Population, Nutrition and Health Survey data of 1989 and 2004, we show that the most important factors explaining overall inequality are differential returns to schooling and sector of employment. A decomposition analysis based on household income determination shows that the increase in returns to education explains two-thirds of income changes in urban areas and one-sixth in rural areas. The widening income gaps are the consequence of higher growth in leading urban and coastal areas and that the skilled population has benefited more from the economic reforms carried out during the last 25 years. The authors argue that rising income inequality can be part of a normal process of development at a certain stage...

‣ Nonfarm Activity and Rural Income Inequality : A Case Study of Two Provinces in China

Zhu, Nong; Luo, Xubei
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Português
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Nonfarm activity plays an increasingly important role in rural household income. Based on data from the Living Standards Measurement Study in the provinces of Hebei and Liaoning, the authors study the distribution of nonfarm income in rural China. First, they assume nonfarm income as an exogenous transfer to total income to decompose the Gini index. Second, they assume nonfarm income as a potential substitute for farm income to take household choices into account and simulate household income. The results show that nonfarm activity reduces rural income inequality by raising the income of poor households to a larger extent than that of rich households. Improving rural infrastructure and implementing universal basic education are critical to build up the capacity of households (in particular, poor households) to participate in nonfarm activity. Strengthening the links between farm activity and nonfarm activity is essential to optimize the contribution of nonfarm activity to pro-poor rural economic development.

‣ Income Diversification in Zimbabwe : Welfare Implications from Urban and Rural Areas

Ersado, Lire
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Português
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36.637905%
The author examines, taking into account the urban-rural divides, the changes and welfare implications of income diversification in Zimbabwe following macroeconomic policy changes and droughts of the early 1990s. Data from two comparable national income, consumption and expenditure surveys in 1990-91 and 1995-96, which straddled a period of economic volatility and natural disasters, show that the percentage of households earning income from private and informal sources grew considerably, while that from government and formal sources declined in the aftermath of the drought and policy changes. The author finds that, in general, rural households tend to have a more diversified portfolio of income compared with their urban counterparts, and the degree of diversification decreases with the level of urbanization. However, there are important differences in the level of diversification within the rural and urban areas depending on wealth: While the relatively better-off households have a more diversified income base in rural areas, it is the poor who pursue multiple income sources in urban areas. A decomposition of changes in welfare indicates that the total contribution of income diversification is large and increased between 1990-91 and 1995-96 in both urban and rural areas. On the other hand...

‣ Income Risk, Income Mobility and Welfare

Krebs, Tom; Krishna, Pravin; Maloney, William F.
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Português
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36.65066%
This paper develops a framework for the quantitative analysis of individual income dynamics, mobility and welfare. Individual income is assumed to follow a stochastic process with two (unobserved) components, component representing measurement error or transitory income shocks and an Autoregressive (AR(1)) component representing persistent changes in income. The analysis uses a tractable consumption-saving model with labor income risk and incomplete markets to relate income dynamics to consumption and welfare, and derive analytical expressions for income mobility and welfare as a function of the various parameters of the underlying income process. The empirical application of the framework using data on individual incomes from Mexico provides striking results. Much of measured income mobility is driven by measurement error or transitory income shocks and therefore (almost) welfare-neutral. A smaller part of measured income mobility is due to either welfare-reducing income risk or welfare-enhancing catching-up of low-income individuals with high-income individuals...

‣ Exiting Belindia? Lesson from the Recent Decline in Income Inequality in Brazil

Lopez-Calva, Luis F.; Rocha, Sonia
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Português
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After decades of persistent disparities, inequality in Brazil has fallen steadily over the last fifteen years. This robust rate of decline has surpassed the pace of the Latin American region as a whole, and is taking place as inequality rises in several rapid-growth emerging economies in other regions. This document examines the recent trend in income inequality in Brazil, its key policy drivers and some of the challenges ahead. It aims at capturing some of the lessons behind Brazil?s experience to share with other economies in the region and beyond.

‣ Middle-Income Traps : A Conceptual and Empirical Survey

Im, Fernando Gabriel; Rosenblatt, David
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Português
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In recent years, the term "middle-income trap" has entered common parlance in the development policy community. The term itself often has not been precisely defined in the incipient literature. This paper discusses in more detail definitional issues on the so-called middle-income trap. The paper presents evidence in terms of both absolute and relative thresholds. To get a better understanding of whether the performance of the middle-income trap has been different from other income categories, the paper examines historical transition phases in the inter-country distribution of income based on previous work in the literature. Transition matrix analysis provides little support for the idea of a middle-income trap. Analysis of cross-country patterns of growth provides additional support for the conclusions in the paper, which closes with a general discussion of potential policy implications.

‣ Global Income Distribution : From the Fall of the Berlin Wall to the Great Recession

Lakner, Christoph; Milanovic, Branko
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
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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...

‣ Nonfarm Income, Inequality, and Poverty in Rural Egypt and Jordan

Adams, Richard H.
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
Português
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36.64583%
The rural economy of developing countries has long been regarded as synonymous with agriculture but in recent years this view has begun to change. Such diverse activities as government, commerce, and services are now seen as providing most income in rural households. Applying decomposition analysis to two new nationally representative sets of household data from Egypt and Jordan, the author examines how different sources of income--including nonfarm income--affect inequality in rural income. He concludes: 1) Nonfarm income has different impacts on poverty and inequality in the two countries. In Egypt the poor (those in the lowest quintile) receive almost 60 percent of their per capita income from nonfarm income. In Jordan the poor receive less than 20 percent of their income from nonfarm income. So nonfarm income decreases inequality in Egypt and increases it in Jordan. 2) Access to land accounts for this difference between the two countries. In Egypt the cultivated land base is totally irrigated and very highly productive. Egypt's large rural population seeks access to land but because the land-to-people ratio is so unfavorable...

‣ Decomposing World Income Distribution : Does the World Have a Middle Class?

Milanovic, Branko; Yitzhaki, Shlomo
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
Português
Relevância na Pesquisa
36.63043%
Using national income and expenditure distribution data from 119 countries, the authors decompose total income inequality between the individuals in the world, by continent and by "region" (countries grouped by income level). They use a Gini decomposition that allows for an exact breakdown (without a residual term) of the overall Gini by recipients. Looking first at income inequality in income between countries is more important than inequality within countries. Africa, Latin America, and Western Europe and North America are quite homogeneous continent, with small differences between countries (so that most of the inequality on these continents is explained by inequality within countries). Next the authors divide the world into three groups: the rich G7 countries (and those with similar income levels), the less developed countries (those with per capita income less than or equal to Brazil's), and the middle-income countries (those with per capita income between Brazil's and Italy's). They find little overlap between such groups - very few people in developing countries have incomes in the range of those in the rich countries.

‣ Global Income Inequality by the Numbers : in History and Now

Milanovic, Branko
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
Português
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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.

‣ Can We Discern the Effect of Globalization on Income Distribution? Evidence from Household Budget Surveys

Milanovic, Branko
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper; Publications & Research
Português
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36.63043%
The effects of globalization on income distribution in rich and poor countries are a matter of controversy. While international trade theory in its most abstract formulation implies that increased trade and foreign investment should make income distribution more equal in poor countries and less equal in rich countries, finding these effects has proved elusive. The author presents another attempt to discern the effects of globalization by using data from household budget surveys and looking at the impact of openness and foreign direct investment on relative income shares of low and high deciles. The author finds some evidence that at very low average income levels, it is the rich who benefit from openness. As income levels rise to those of countries such as Chile, Colombia, or Czech Republic, for example, the situation changes, and it is the relative income of the poor and the middle class that rises compared with the rich. It seems that openness makes income distribution worse before making it better--or differently in that the effect of openness on a country's income distribution depends on the country's initial income level.