de Janvry and Sadoulet
The State of Development-2010
September 3, 2010
We characterize the state of development in 2010 using the seven dimensions of development
identified in Chapter 1. What we shall see is a great deal of unevenness in progress toward
development, with successes from which to learn, and many failures from which to learn as well.
Well-being is first and foremost measured in terms of real income per capita. By this standard, as
can be seen in Figure 1, the stunning success in GDPpc growth has been in East Asia and the
Pacific, led by China, where per capita income increased by 11 times since 1965. South Asia also
had a performance in excess of the OECD countries, with income increasing by 3.2 times
compared to 2.7 in the OECD countries, and growth there has clearly accelerated since 2000. All
other regions have had a long run income growth inferior to that of the OECD: GDPpc increased
by 2.3 times in the Middle East and North Africa, 2.0 times in Latin America and the Caribbean,
and only 1.2 times in Sub-Saharan Africa in more than 30 years. We thus see the emergence of a
“Convergence Club” (Lucas, 1990) of regions––East Asia and the Pacific, and South Asia––
rising faster in GDPpc than the high income OECD countries and catching up, while the other
regions of the world are lagging and falling further behind in per capita income. The main deficit
in per capita income growth is clearly located in Sub-Saharan Africa that, consequently, deserves
most attention in this respect. Clearly developing regions are split into two sub-groups on the
basis of the convergence criterion. Thinking development as an homogenous phenomenon would
thus be clearly wrong. Instead, heterogeneity is what prevails.
Take home messages for chapter 2
1. Many middle income countries, particularly in East Asia and more recently in South Asia, have grown
rapidly. However, there are still huge gaps in per capita income between high income ($28,654 per capita),
middle income ($1990), and low income ($376) countries.
2. High income countries account for 16% of the world population controlling 76% of world income while low
and middle income countries account for 84% of world population controlling only 24% of world income.
3. Convergence in per capita incomes is highly selective, only happening for a “convergence club”.
4. Most of world poverty and hunger is located in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, and the number of poor is
rising in these regions. Only China has been successful in taking more than 300 million people out of poverty in
the last 25 years.
5. With selective convergence, international inequality in the distribution of income has increased across
countries, but it has fallen between individuals due to the sharp increase in income among the large Chinese and
6. There has been rapid convergence in health and educational levels among middle and high income countries,