A Cross-Country Analysis of Achievements and Inequities in Economic Growth and Standards of Living

Publication | May 2009

This paper compares achievements and inequities in standards of living across countries. Achievement is measured by an index, which is constructed to reflect greater achievement for an increase in the standard of living of a country that is already at a high level compared to that of another country with an equal increase but from a lower base. The paper tests for the statistical relationship between indicators of standards of living and per capita income across countries. It analyzes the disparity of achievement in standards of living across countries and explains inequality in achievement in standards of living both within and between regions. Furthermore, the paper estimates the number of years it will take for different regions and selected Asian countries to catch up with the average standard of living of industrialized countries. The analysis presented is based on data from 177 countries covering the period 2000–2007.


  • Abstract
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Cross-Country Inequities in Standards of Living
  • Achievements in Standards of Living
  • Relationship between Per Capita GDP and Standards of Living
  • Performance in Standards of Living
  • Convergence in Standards of Living
  • Public Spending and Standards of Living
  • Concluding Remarks
  • Appendix
  • References

Additional Details

  • Economics
  • Poverty
  • Social development and protection
  • 1655-5252 (Print)

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