Well-Being Distribution in the Globalization Era: 30 Years of Convergence
Globalization has brought with a period of economic growth and the expansion of well-being levels. However, nothing has been said about how such an increase in quality of life has been distributed among countries. The aim of this work is to investigate whether the enhancement of quality of life has lead developing nations to catch up with advanced economies or, instead, well-being levels have diverged across countries. To shed light on this question, we study the distributional patterns of well-being in the last wave of globalization. As a well-being indicator, we use the Human Development Index which includes income variables as well as social aspects, thus reflecting the multidimensional nature of this process. We found evidence of sigma convergence although an increase in polarization is also observed. Moreover, our results also point out that the convergence process has been nonlinear.
KeywordsWell-being Human Development Index Inequality Convergence Globalization Polarization
The authors thank the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Project ECO2010-15455) for partial support of this work. The first author also thanks to the Ministerio de Educación (FPU AP-2010-4907) for partial support of this work and the Department of Economics at the University of Reading (UK) for its hospitality. Authors are grateful for the constructive suggestions provided by the editor and the reviewers, which improved the paper substantially.
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