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Economic growth and inequality: The Colombian experience, 1930-1990.

Ford, Simon G (1997) Economic growth and inequality: The Colombian experience, 1930-1990. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The thesis is concerned with the relationship between economic growth, defined by GNP per capita, and inequality. The latter is discussed with reference to income distribution and poverty. Firstly, the theoretical background to the debate is outlined. While considering a wide array of positions, it focuses particularly on the influential thesis of Simon Kuznets (1955), which posits a relationship between a country's economic growth and its income distribution profile. Kuznets' thesis is discussed at length and compared to other interpretations of the relationship. The Colombian experience is then brought in, as a case study with which to test Kuznets' proposition. Published research and other available data, covering the period up to 1978, is then reviewed, before the latest available data - official statistics and other sources, supplemented by interviews carried out by the author - covering the 1978-1990 period, is presented and discussed in detail. A comparison of the inequality profile in the period up to 1978 with that between 1978-1990 is then presented. Following this, some possible determinants - both economic and sociological - of the income distribution and poverty trends between 1978 and 1990 are discussed. These include those related to the economy, the government, education, the drug-trade, and the 'culture of violence'. Conclusions are arrived at as to the influence of each. An overall conclusion is then drawn, which attempts to highlight the links between the Kuznets thesis and the Colombian experience. The problems of a thesis such as Kuznets', arrived at with cross-sectional data, are discussed, as are those associated with using a case study approach to 'test' an hypothesis. Finally, the thesis includes two appendices, the first discussing the data used to assess the income distribution and poverty profiles in the period 1978-1990, the second outlining the advantages and disadvantages of the various measures of inequality employed in the study.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economics, General, History, Latin American
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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