Richard Weisskoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Has economic growth in developing countries led to increasing inequality in the size distribution of income? Following a brief review of the advantages and deficiencies of several traditional measures of income distribution, the author examines the evidence from Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Mexico in recent years. The findings suggest that the income shares received by the lower half and by the top 5 per cent of families in Puerto Rico and Mexico have declined from 1950 to 1963, while the income shares received by the bottom nine deciles of families in Argentina have also fallen during the same period. The rising Gini ratio and standard deviation of the logs of income, both indicating greater inequality, contrast with a declining coefficient of variation for all three countries. More detailed sectoral distributions for each year reveal greater equality within agriculture than non‐agriculture for Puerto Rico and Mexico, while Argentina and the United States demonstrate less equality within agriculture. The trends in the countrywide distributions are consistent with the observation of the increasing differential between sectors, the increasing weight of the more unequal sector, and the increasing level of inequality within both sectors. These trends, however, are qualified by the particular set of measures which are applied to the data. Finally, the author speculates on possible explainations for these trends in terms of changes in the crop and industry mix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-332
Number of pages30
JournalReview of Income and Wealth
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1970
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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