The Evolution of World Inequality in Well-being

Decancq Koen , Decoster André and Schokkaert Erik (2009), The Evolution of World Inequality in Well-being, World Development, 37(1), 11-25, (Impactfactor 1,565)

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