The Evolution of World Inequality in Well-Being

34 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2007

See all articles by Koen Decancq

Koen Decancq

University of Antwerp; KU Leuven - Center for Economic Studies; Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE); University of Mannheim - Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES)

André Decoster

Department of Economics KU Leuven

Erik Schokkaert

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL)

Date Written: December 28, 2006

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the evolution of the inequality in well-being across different countries between 1975 and 2000. We treat well-being as a multidimensional concept focusing on three important dimensions of life: standard of living, health and education. Inequality in the three dimensions shows a different trend between 1975 and 2000. We propose a flexible measure of well-being and use the tools offered by the recent literature on multidimensional inequality measurement to quantify the evolution of overall intercountry well-being inequality. The empirical results are nuanced, and sensitive to different normative choices on the trade-offs between the different dimensions. In particular the concave transformation of income turns out to be decisive for the evolution of world inequality in well-being.

Keywords: Multidimensional Inequality Measurement, Index of Well-being, Inter-country Inequality

JEL Classification: D31, D63, I31, O50

Suggested Citation

Decancq, Koen and Decoster, André and Schokkaert, Erik, The Evolution of World Inequality in Well-Being (December 28, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=958690 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.958690

Koen Decancq (Contact Author)

University of Antwerp ( email )

Prinsstraat 13
Antwerp, Antwerp 2000
Belgium

KU Leuven - Center for Economic Studies ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) ( email )

34 Voie du Roman Pays
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, b-1348
Belgium

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

André Decoster

Department of Economics KU Leuven ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.andredecoster.be

Erik Schokkaert

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) ( email )

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant 3000
Belgium

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