Growth, Income Distribution, and Well-Being: Comparisons Across Space and Time

56 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2003

See all articles by Carola Gruen

Carola Gruen

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB); University of the Witwatersrand - School of Economics and Business Sciences

Stephan Klasen

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: January 2003

Abstract

We use several well-being measures that combine average income with a measure of inequality to undertake international, intertemporal, and global comparisons of well-being. The conclusions emerging from the analysis are that our well-being measures drastically change our impression of well-being levels at the national and, more so, at the global level. They also significantly affect the ranking of countries, when compared to rankings based on real incomes. The impact of these measures on temporal trends in well-being is small on average, but significant for a number of countries where inequality changed considerably in past decades. These results appear not very sensitive to the data on inequality which this analysis is based upon. However, since the inclusion of inequality has an important impact on well-being comparisons, it is of great importance to generate intertemporally as well as internationally comparable data on inequality that are necessary for such comparisons.

JEL Classification: I31, D63

Suggested Citation

Gruen, Carola and Klasen, Stephan, Growth, Income Distribution, and Well-Being: Comparisons Across Space and Time (January 2003). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 837. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=378520

Carola Gruen

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
Germany

University of the Witwatersrand - School of Economics and Business Sciences ( email )

Private Bag 3
P.O. Wits 2050
Johannesburg
South Africa

Stephan Klasen (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Platz der Goettinger Sieben 3
Goettingen, 37073
Germany
+49-551-397303 (Phone)
+49-551-397302 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: www.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/klasen.html

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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