The geographic distribution of gross world product, 1950–1990

  • Henri Theil
  • Dongling Chen
Part of the Advanced Studies in Theoretical and Applied Econometrics book series (ASTA, volume 30)


PPP-based data (PPP = purchasing power parity) for gross domestic products are used to assess the affluence of more than 100 non-Communist countries in 1950–1990. A seven-region classification, based on the distinction between temperate and tropical zones, is used to summarize the data on individual countries. The seven regions account for nearly 90 percent of the inequality among these countries in each year. Five journeys around the world are described; the main result is that affluence tends to decline when the traveler moves from temperate zones (in either the Northern or the Southern Hemisphere) toward the Equator. A simple latitude model is developed to explain per capita GDPs: it involves only one parameter, but it accounts for as much as about 70 percent of the variance of the per capita GDPs in each year during the 1970s and 1980s. Another topic considered is that of the G-7 countries, the populations of which are all concentrated in the temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere.


Gross Domestic Product World Product Real Gross Domestic Product Population Share Capita Gross Domestic Product 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henri Theil
  • Dongling Chen

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