Inkomstfördelning och ekonomisk utveckling -en studie av forna sovjetstater
The economic development and industrialization that has taken place in many parts of the world during the past century has brought about a huge increase in economic welfare. During this process, it has repeatedly been debated whether the gains from economic development are shared by everyone or just a few. In the field of economics, vast research has been conducted on this particular subject ever since the 1950’s. The most famous contribution might be said to be Simon Kuznets article, Growth and Income Inequality from 1955 and the ”inverted U”-hypothesis that was formulated on the basis of that article. The essence of the hypothesis is that a country, during its development, moves from agricultural to industrial production. At first, income inequality increases and then, at the end of the process, decreases.The aim of this paper has been to investigate the relationship between income distribution and economic development in a particular region, namely the countries of the former Soviet Union, during 1992-2003. Also, we have tested whether Kuznets theory and the “inverted U”-hypothesis hold true for our sample. The investigations method is a survey, which uses secondary data collected from the World Bank’s database of World Development Indicators. Regression-analysis has been employed to conduct cross-sections between 20 countries over 4 periods in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The number of observations equals to 62. The variables that we use are: the Gini index, GDP per capita and the agricultural sector’s share of GDP.The results of the regression do not indicate any resemblance to the pattern of the “inverted U”-hypothesis. The curve we get is that of a “positive U”. Countries with high GDP per capita as well as countries with low GDP per capita have high income inequality. Countries with mediate GDP per capita levels have low income inequality. Our analysis concludes that the countries in our sample might have had a very unique economic development following the fall of the Soviet Union. Only 7 countries partly follow the Kuznets theory if tested individually. Since these seven countries seem to have a reversed development with increasing agricultural sector and the remainder of the countries show increasing income inequality, we reject the “inverted U”-hypothesis and question the ability of Kuznets’ theory to explain income distribution for our sample.
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:income distribution economic development soviet post eastern europe central asia kuznets gini gdp per capita inverted u
Date of Publication:08/06/2007