Does the Centre Hold? Testing Palma's Proposition (A Comment)


  • Tim Hazledine


This Comment tests empirically the important proposition made by Palma in this journal (Development and Change, 2011) that deciles 5 to 9 of the income distribution across developing economies have been able to secure and defend a stable share (around 50 per cent) of the total available income, so that changes in income inequality are now a matter of struggle between the top 10 per cent and the bottom 40 per cent of the population, ranked by income. The author finds that the proposition does not hold: changes in top 10 per cent shares are matched by changes in the shares of both the other cohorts.