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Dollar, David
Kleineberg, Tatjana
Kraay, Aart
Year of Publication: 
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LIS Working Paper Series 626
We use social welfare functions that assign weights to individuals based on their income levels to document the relative importance of growth and inequality changes for changes in social welfare. In a large panel of industrial and developing countries over the past 40 years, we find that most of the cross-country and over-time variation in changes in social welfare is due to changes in average incomes. In contrast, the changes in inequality observed during this period are on average much smaller than changes in average incomes, are uncorrelated with changes in average incomes, and have contributed relatively little to changes in social welfare.
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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