Power Law Scaling in World Income Distribution

Vanberbilt University
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Economics Bulletin, 2003, 15 (6), pp. 1 - 7
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We show that over the period 1960-1997, the range comprised between the 30th and the 85th percentiles of the world income distribution expressed in terms of GDP per capita invariably scales down as a Pareto distribution. Furthermore, the time path of the power law exponent displays a negatively sloped trend. Our findings suggest that the cross-country average growth process appears to be scale invariant but for countries in the tails of the world income distribution, and that the relative volatility of smaller countries' growth processes have increased over time.
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