Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on May 30, 2014

in Hunger, Inequality, Seen and Unseen, Standard of Living

… is from page 37 of Indur Goklany’s 2002 article “Economic Growth and Human Well-Being,” which is chapter 2 in Sustainable Development: Promoting progress or perpetuating poverty? (Julian Morris, ed. [2002]) (footnotes excluded):

However, measurements that describe human well-being more directly than income do not show quite the same pattern [of growing income inequality between people in rich countries and people in poor countries].  Yes, gaps in life expectancy and infant mortality between the more and less developed countries are substantial.  However, these gaps have narrowed by 55% since the Second World War.  The gap in life expectancy was 25.4 years in the 1950-1955 period but fell to 10.9 years in the 1995-2000 period, while the gap in infant mortality fell from 121 to 53 deaths per 1,000 live births.  In addition … food supplies per capita have increased.  Hunger is less prevalent that it was 30 years ago and the number of people suffering from chronic undernourishment has declined in both absolute and relative terms.  Thus, while income inequalities have widened, in the aspects of human well-being that are truly crucial – life expectancy, infant mortality, hunger – the world is far more equal.

See also this related paper from Indur.

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