Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 307–344

Inequality in the distribution of personal income in the world: How it is changing and why

  • T. Paul Schultz

DOI: 10.1007/s001480050072

Cite this article as:
Schultz, T. J Popul Econ (1998) 11: 307. doi:10.1007/s001480050072


The variance in the logarithms of per capita GDP in purchasing-power-parity prices increased in the world from 1960 to 1968 and decreased since the mid 1970s. In the later period the convergence in intercountry incomes more than offset any increase in within country inequality. Approximately two-thirds of this measure of world inequality is intercountry, three-tenths interhousehold within country inequality, and one-twentieth between gender differences in education. If China is excluded from the world sample, the decline in world inequality after 1975 is not evident. Measuring confidently trends in household and gender inequality will require much improved data.

Key words: World inequalityhousehold inequalitygender inequality
JEL classification: D31F02J16

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Paul Schultz
    • 1
  1. 1.Economic Growth Center, Yale University, P.O. Box 208269, New Haven, CT 06520-8269, USA (Fax: (203) 432-5591; e-mail: