A 'World' Distribution of Income and of Real Poverty and Affluence (The Quaid-i-Azam Lecture)

Pan A. Yotopoulos

Abstract


Since the early 1970s, when income distribution became an
operative objective of economic development (Chenery et al. 1974),
knowledge on the subject has certainly improved. A number of analytical
treatises have focused on the issue Pen (1971), Atkinson (1970), Cline
(1975) and, more important, data on income distribution are routinely
reported for about a score of developing countries (LDCs) and as many
developed countries (Des) World Bank (1986), Jain (1975), Paukert
(1973). These data deal with the within-country relative income
distribution and report one or more of the common inequality measures.
Moreover, for some countries measures of absolute poverty exist which
report, e.g., the population that lives below a "poverty level", defmed
in terms of consumption (calories) or income (for example, Dandekar and
Rath (1971), Bardhan (1970), (1973), Fishlow (1972). Such measures of
absolute poverty, if aggregated over a number of countries, give a
measure of relative world poverty and an idea of how it is distributed
between- countries. Cross-country comparisons have also been based on
ranking various countries on the basis of their measures of relative
income distribution.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v26i3pp.275-308

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