Changes in the world distribution of income between 1950 and 1977.

A. Berry, F. Bourguignon, C. Morrisson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the quarter century 1950-77 these data indicate that the distribution of world GNP was essentially unchanged, while that of private consumption became more unequal. The difference between the two patterns reflected the decreasing private consumption to GNP ratios in the lower income countries as a group. The 1950s saw improvement, 1960-72 worsening, and 1972-77 a slight improvement. Developments in China were the main factor underlying these differences across sub-periods, and the rapid growth of this country was a major equalizing factor for the quarter century as a whole. Within the non-socialist camp, there was some increase in the inequality indicators for GNP, and a larger increase in those for consumption. The slow growth of per capita income in the Indian subcontinent was the main single factor in this latter development, while the rapid growth of such middle income countries as Japan, Russia, and Brazil underlay the gains by the 'middle' against both the top and the bottom. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-350
Number of pages20
JournalEconomic Journal
Issue number370
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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