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UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Working Papers

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Working Papers aim to stimulate discussion and critical comment on the broad range of economic, social and environmental issues associated with the United Nations Development Agenda.

English

Growth with Equity in East Asia?

Rapid growth and structural change have reduced poverty in East Asian economies. Income inequality has been low in Korea and Taiwan, but has risen in recent years with economic liberalization. In the Southeast Asian economies of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, poverty has declined, while income inequality trends have varied, rising most clearly in Thailand. With its strengthened (private) property rights, market liberalization and sustained rapid growth, China has also experienced increased inequality despite considerable poverty reduction. Hence, the common claim of egalitarian growth in East Asia may have been exaggerated, especially since the 1990s.

English

Keywords: inequality, China, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, poverty, Thailand, Taiwan, East Asia
JEL: D63: Microeconomics / Welfare Economics / Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement; F02: International Economics / General / International Economic Order and Integration; D31: Microeconomics / Distribution / Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
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