Who Got What, Then and Now? A Fifty Year Overview from the Global Consumption and Income Project

46 Pages Posted: 5 May 2015 Last revised: 11 Mar 2017

Arjun Jayadev

University of Massachusetts Boston - Department of Economics

Rahul Lahoti

University of Goettingen (Gottingen)

Sanjay G. Reddy

The New School - Department of Economics; Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)

Date Written: May 8, 2015

Abstract

Using new comprehensive data and tools from the Global Consumption and Income Project (GCIP), covering most of the world and more than five decades, we present a portrait of the changing global distribution of consumption and income and discuss its implications for understanding inequality and inclusivity of growth and development. We show how regional distributions of income and consumption have evolved very differently over time. We undertake sensitivity analysis to quantify the impact of various choices made in database construction and analysis. We find, in keeping with other studies that levels of consumption and income have increased across the distribution, that the global distribution has become more relatively equal due to falling inter-country relative inequality though more absolutely unequal. We describe the singular role of China in bringing about the observed changes. We also present new findings about some old ‘stylized facts’ as well as new ones deserving study.

Keywords: Global Distribution, Inequality, Economic Growth, Welfare

JEL Classification: D30, D31, D60, D63, I30, O10, O15, P50 

Suggested Citation

Jayadev, Arjun and Lahoti, Rahul and Reddy, Sanjay G., Who Got What, Then and Now? A Fifty Year Overview from the Global Consumption and Income Project (May 8, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2602268 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2602268

Arjun Jayadev

University of Massachusetts Boston - Department of Economics ( email )

100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
United States

Rahul Lahoti (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

Sanjay G. Reddy

The New School - Department of Economics ( email )

Room 1116
6 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) ( email )

New York, NY
United States

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