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This page lists selected poverty-related publications by topic.

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Ethics and global redistribution

Milanovic, Branko. 2007. “Why We All Care about Inequality (but are Loath to Admit It).” Challenge Magazine 50(6, November-December): 109-20.
Motivated by a paper written by Martin Feldstein in which the relevance of inequality is dismissed (if everybody's income goes up, who cares if inequality is up too?). Here I show that we all do care about inequality, and that to hold that we should be concerned with poverty solely and not with inequality is internally inconsistent.

Openness and inequality

Milanovic, Branko. 2006. "Economic Integration and Income Convergence: not such a strong link?" Review of Economics and Statistics 88 (4, November): 659-70.
Did globalization between 1870 and 1914, and then disintegration of the world economy during the inter-war period lead first to mean-income convergence and then divergence? No, on the contrary, there is stronger evidence for income convergence during the inter-war period than during the First Globalization (1870-1914). Also, the average level of import protection in the world cannot be shown to have either helped or hampered convergence. The evidence for trade-induced theory of convergence is weak.

Milanovic, Branko, and Lyn Squire. 2006. "Does Tariff Liberalization Increase Wage Inequality? Some Empirical Evidence." In Globalization and Poverty, ed. Ann Harrison. Chicago University Press.
Tariff reduction is associated with higher inter-occupational (skills premium) and higher inter-industry inequality in the poor countries (those below the world median income). The reverse is true for the rich countries. The poor in the poorer countries do not seem to participate proportionately in the benefits of trade liberalization.

Milanovic, Branko. 2005. "Can We Discern the Effect of Globalization on Income Distribution? Evidence from Household Budget Surveys." World Bank Economic Review 19(1): 21-44.
What is the impact of greater trade/GDI and greater direct foreign investment/GDI ratios on income shares of various deciles in poor and rich countries? At low average income level, the share of the poor is less in countries that are more open to trade. As mean income level rises, the situation changes. Data used in this study.

Milanovic, Branko. 2005. "Half a World: Regional Inequality in Five Great Federations." Journal of Asia Pacific Economy 10(4): 408-45.
What happened to spatial (regional) inequality in five most populous countries in the world: China, India, USA, Indonesia and Brazil in the period 1980-2000? The three Asian countries show rising Concept 1 and Concept 2 inequality. Mean-income divergence is particularly strong for the most populous states in India and China. USA displays convergence. Brazil, with the highest level of regional inequality, shows no trend.

Milanovic, Branko. 2005. "Globalization and Goals: Does Soccer Show the Way?" Review of International Political Economy 12(5).
Globalization in soccer has led to a concentration of quality among the richest clubs but to convergence in quality among national teams. The latter is related to a FIFA requirement that players cannot change national teams. If soccer is a paradigm for world economy, then certain inequality features fostered by globalization need to be tempered through overarching (global) rules whose objective should be to redistribute gains from globalization.

Global income distribution

Milanovic, Branko. 2002. "True World Income Distribution, 1988 and 1993: First Calculation Based on Household Surveys Alone." The Economic Journal 112(476): 51-92.
Calculates, for the first time ever, inequality among world citizens using detailed household survey data from more than 100 countries. Shows that inequality increased between 1988 and 1993. Data used to calculate the World Income Distribution 

Milanovic, Branko, and Shlomo Yitzhaki. 2002. "Decomposing World Income Distribution: Does the World Have a Middle Class?" Review of Income and Wealth 48(2): 155-78.

Inequality and politics

Gradstein, M. and B. Milanovic. 2004. "Does Liberté=Egalité? A Survey of the Empirical Evidence on the Links Between Political Democracy and Income Inequality." Journal of Economic Surveys 18(4): 515-37.
Will democratization lead to greater equality? The evidence is inconclusive.

Gradstein, M. B. Milanovic, and Yvonne Ying. 2001."Democracy and Income Inequality: an Empirical Analysis." Journal of Development Studies 41(5): 788-838, 2004.
Do democracy and religion affect the level of inequality? Yes, but weakly, and in a very convoluted way.

Milanovic, Branko. 2000. "The Median Voter Hypothesis, Income Inequality and Income Redistribution: An Empirical Test with the Required Data." European Journal of Political Economy 16(3): 367-410.
Do the poor gain more through redistribution if market (factor) income inequality is greater? In other words, do you gain more if you start worse off? Yes.

Inequality and transition


Kapstein, E. and B. Milanovic. 2000. "Dividing the Spoils: Pension, Privatization, and Reform in Russia." World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 2292.
Was there a trade-off between the privatization gains to workers and managers, and fate of pensioners?

Milanovic, Branko. 1999. "Explaining the Increase in Inequality During the Transition." Economics of Transition 7(2): 299-341.
Inequality increase was led mostly by widening wage differences.

Milanovic, B., and B. Jovanovic. 1999. "Change in the Perception of the Poverty Line during the Times of Depression: Russia 1993-96." World Bank Economic Review 13(3): 539-60.
When incomes goes down a lot, and quickly, does the subjective poverty line adjust? Yes—a lot.

Milanovic, Branko. 1998. Income, Inequality, and Poverty during the Transition from Planned to Market Economy. Regional and Sector Studies. Washington, DC: World Bank. 
The first comprehensive review of social effects of transition in 18 countries.
Household Expenditure and Income Distribution dataset 

Ginis, polarization measures

Lanjouw, J., P. Lanjouw, B. Milanovic and S. Paternostro. 2004. "Relative price shifts, economies of scale and poverty during economic transition." Economics of Transition 12: 509-36.
Shows how economies of scale and size depend on relative prices of public vs. private and children vs. adult goods, and how it affects poverty measurement.

Milanovic, Branko. 2002. "Do We Tend to Overestimate Poverty Gaps? The Impact of Equivalency Scales on the Calculation of the Poverty Gap." Applied Economics Letters 9: 69-72.
Our poverty gap formulas need adjusting when we use equivalence scales (different from per capita).

Milanovic, Branko. 1997. "A Simple Way to Calculate the Gini Coefficient, and Some Implications." Economics Letters 56: 45-49, 1997.

Poverty and Inequality Data

Demombynes, G. and B. Ozler. 2005. "Crime and Local Inequality in South Africa." Journal of Development Economics 72 (2): 265-92.

Elbers, C., P. Lanjouw, J. Mistiaen, B. Ozler and K. Simler. 2005. "Are Neighbours Equal? Estimating Local Inequality in Three Developing Countries." In Spatial Inequality and Development, ed. Ravi Kanbur and Anthony J. Venables. World Institute for Development Economics Research. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ferreira, Francisco H. G., Peter Lanjouw, and Marcelo Neri. 2003. "Robust Poverty Profile for Brazil Using Multiple Data Sources." Revista Brasileira de Economia 57(1): 59-92, 2003.

Hoogeveen, Johannes G., and Berk Ozler. 2005. "Not Separate, Not Equal: Poverty and Inequality in Post-Apartheid South Africa." William Davidson Institute Working Paper 739. World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005.

Milanovic, Branko. 2006. "An Estimate of Average Income and Inequality in Byzantium Around Year 1000." Review of Income and Wealth 52(3): 360-75.

Milanovic, Branko. 2006. "Inequality and determinants of earnings in Malaysia, 1984-97." Asian Economic Journal 20(2): 191-216.
The results of three large household surveys over the period 1984-97 show steady returns to education (10 percent for each additional year of schooling) and rising gender discrimination at over 20 percent.

Milanovic, Branko. 2006. "Globalization and Inequality," B. Milanovic. In Global Inequality: Patterns and Explanations, ed. David Held and Ayse Kaya. London: Polity.

Milanovic, Branko. 2006. "Global Income Inequality: What It Is and Why It Matters," B. Milanovic, World Economics 7(1): 131-53..
A non-technical summary of the current status of the debate (methodological and empirical) on global inequality. This paper is a product of the Poverty Team, Development Research Group--is part of a larger effort in the group to study inequality and globalization.

Milanovic, Branko. 2005. Worlds Apart: Measuring International and Global Inequality, Princeton University Press.
The book is organized around three concepts of inequality. The first (Concept 1) is inequality in average incomes between countries. The second (Concept 2) is the same as the first except that importance of each country is weighted by population. The third concept, global inequality, looks at inequality among individuals in the world. The study of Concept 3 is based on more than 300 household surveys from about 120 countries. According to the first and second concept, inequality has respectively increased (= income divergence) and decreased over the last fifty years. Global inequality is extremely high and shows no trend in the period 1988-98.

Presentations on the book:
Ralph Miliband Memorial Lecture at London School of Economics, February 2005 (PPT)
Carnegie book launch, September 2005 (PPT)
Council on Foreign Relations, December 2005 (PPT)

Milanovic, Branko. 2005. "Half a World: Regional Inequality in Five Great Federations." Journal of Asia Pacific Economy 10(4): 408-445, 2005.

Ravallion, Martin. 2002. "Who is Protected? On the Incidence of Fiscal Adjustment." Development Reseach Group, World Bank, Washington, DC. Processed.

Ravallion, Martin. 2001. "Estimating the Benefit Incidence of an Antipoverty Program by Propensity Score Matching." Published in Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association.
Using matching methods to assess the incidence of benefits from Argentina's Trabajar Program.

Pro-Poor Growth

Ferreira,Francisco H. G., and Phillippe G. Leite. 2002. "Educational Expansion and Income Distribution: A Micro-Simulation for Ceará." Working Paper 456, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).

Ferreira, Francisco H. G. 2001. "Education for the Masses? The Interaction between Wealth, Educational and Political Inequalities." Economics of Transition 9(2): 533-52.

Jalan, Jyotsna, and Martin Ravallion. "Geographic Poverty Traps? A Micro Model of Consumption Growth in Rural China." Processed, Feb.1, 2004.

Lokshin, Michael, and Martin Ravallion. "Household Dynamics in Two Transition Economies." Processed, Oct 2001.

Mesnard, Alice, and Martin Ravallion. "Wealth Distribution and Self-Employment in a Developing Economy." Processed, February 5, 2002.

Rao,Vijayendra, and Michael Walton, ed. 2002. Culture and Public Action. Washington, DC: World Bank, and Stanford University Press.

Ravallion, Martin. 2007. "Inequality is Bad for the Poor." In Inequality and Poverty Re-examined, ed. S. Jenkins and J. Micklewright. Oxford University Press.

Ravallion, Martin. "A Poverty-Inequality Trade-Off?." Processed, Nov. 24, 2004.

Ravallion, Martin. "Who is Protected? On the Incidence of Fiscal Adjustment." Processed, Feb. 12, 2002.

Ravallion, Martin. "Inequality Convergence." Processed, January 23, 2002.

Small Area Estimation Poverty Maps

Babita, Miriam, Nthabiseng Makhatha, Harold Alderman, and Gabriel Demombynes. 2001. "How Low Can You Go? Combining Census and Survey Data for Mapping Poverty in South Africa." Journal of African Economies 11(3).

Demombynes, Gabriel, and Berk Ozler. "Crime and local inequality in South Africa." Processed, November 2002.

Demombynes, Gabriel, Chris Elbers, Jean O. Lanjouw, Peter Lanjouw, Johan Mistiaen, and Berk Özler. 2002. "Producing an Improved Geographic Profile of Poverty: Methodology and Evidence from three Developing Countries." WIDER Discussion Papter 39).

Elbers, Chris, Tomoki Fujii, Peter Lanjouw, Berk Ozler and Wesley Yin. "Poverty alleviation through geographic targeting: How much does disaggregation help?" Processed, 2006.

Elbers, Chris, Jean O. Lanjouw, and Peter Lanjouw. "Welfare in Villages and Towns: Micro-Measurement of Poverty and Inequality." Tinbergen Institute Working Paper, 2000.

Elbers, Chris, Jean O. Lanjouw, and Peter Lanjouw. "Determining Changes in Welfare Distributions at the Micro-Level: Updating Poverty Maps."  Processed, 2005.

Elbers, Chris, Jean O. Lanjouw, and Peter Lanjouw. 2005."Imputed Welfare Estimates in Regression Analysis." Journal of Economic Geography.

Elbers, Chris, Peter Lanjouw, Johan Mistiaen, Berk Ozler and Ken Simler. "On the Unequal Inequality of Poor Communities." Processed, June 2004.

Elbers, Chris, Peter Lanjouw, Johan Mistiaen, Ken Simler, and Berk Özler. 2003. "Are Neighbours Equal? Estimating Local Inequality in Three Developing Countries." Discussion Paper 52, WIDER, United Nations University.

Elbers, Chris, Jean O. Lanjouw, and Peter Lanjouw. "Micro-Level Estimation of Poverty and Inequality." Econometrica 7(1): 355-64.

Lanjouw, Peter, and Berk Özler. 2002. "Poverty on the Map." Spectrum, Winter 2002.

Mistiaen, Johan, and Berk Özler. 2002. "Putting Welfare on the Map in Madagascar." Africa Region Working Paper 34, World Bank, Washington, DC.

Knowledge in Development Notes (2009) 

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