NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Explaining Inequality the World Round: Cohort Size, Kuznets Curves, andOpenness

Matthew Higgins, Jeffrey G. Williamson

NBER Working Paper No. 7224
Issued in July 1999
NBER Program(s):   DAE   ITI   LS

Klaus Deininger and Lyn Squire have recently produced an inequality data base for a panel of countries from the 1960s to the 1990s. We use these data to decompose the sources of inequality into three central parts: the demographic or cohort size effect; the so-called Kuznets Curve or demand effects; and the commitment to globalization or policy effects. We also control for education supply, the so-called natural resource curse and other variables suggested by the literature. While the Kuznets Curve comes out of hiding when the inequality relationship is conditioned by the other two, cohort size seems to be the most important force at work. We resolve the apparent conflict between this macro finding on cohort size and the contrary implications of recent research based on micro data.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7224

Published: Higgins, Matthew and Jeffrey G. Williamson. “Explaining Inequality the World Round: Cohort Size, Kuznets Curves, and Openness." Southeast Asian Studies 40, 3 (December 2002): 268-302.

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