Thanks to globalization a remarkable growth rate has been achieved since 1990 in some regions of the Global South and an overall Middle Class (MC) is rising. The paper aims to address the question if the per capita income and the level of consumption could be considered the key indicators to describe the rise of the MC and the improvement of the quality of life in the Global South. In so doing, the paper stresses the role played by cultural variables. The paper is structured as follows. The first section is devoted to the theoretical background. The second focuses on the Kahras’ definition of the global MC. In the third section, we make an empirical test. I selected from the World Bank database two set of indicators referring to typical dimensions of a MC society. Then I separately processed these data with a two-step principal component analysis. I extracted two factorial indexes supposed to indicate the modernity of the labour market and the social status of women. Evidences show that the condition for the rise of the MC are a modern economic system and a social context where gender gaps are reduced and where women are respected and empowered. In sum, the rise of the MC is a multidimensional phenomenon, where cultural variables play a crucial role.

The Emergence of the Middle Class and Improving Quality of Life in the Global South

Adele Bianco
2019

Abstract

Thanks to globalization a remarkable growth rate has been achieved since 1990 in some regions of the Global South and an overall Middle Class (MC) is rising. The paper aims to address the question if the per capita income and the level of consumption could be considered the key indicators to describe the rise of the MC and the improvement of the quality of life in the Global South. In so doing, the paper stresses the role played by cultural variables. The paper is structured as follows. The first section is devoted to the theoretical background. The second focuses on the Kahras’ definition of the global MC. In the third section, we make an empirical test. I selected from the World Bank database two set of indicators referring to typical dimensions of a MC society. Then I separately processed these data with a two-step principal component analysis. I extracted two factorial indexes supposed to indicate the modernity of the labour market and the social status of women. Evidences show that the condition for the rise of the MC are a modern economic system and a social context where gender gaps are reduced and where women are respected and empowered. In sum, the rise of the MC is a multidimensional phenomenon, where cultural variables play a crucial role.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/703613
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