A Paradox of Economic Growth and Relative Deprivation

Atsushi Ishida, Kenji Kosaka, Hiroshi Hamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Rapid economic growth sometimes intensifies people's frustration. In this article, we attempt to formulate this kind of paradox of economic growth, and to explain theoretically how economic growth increases people's dissatisfaction by way of the notion of relative deprivation by employing the theoretical framework of Yitzhaki's relative deprivation index. We introduce the problem of the China puzzle as the latest case of the paradox. Then, we introduce the definition of Yitzhaki's index of relative deprivation, and use this to explain the China puzzle. Besides, through a theoretical examination of Yitzhaki's index, we propose a proposition proving that an increase of relative deprivation in the society can occur even when the amount of wealth increases and the degree of inequality reduces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-284
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Mathematical Sociology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 19


  • China puzzle
  • Economic growth
  • Gini coefficient
  • Inequality
  • Relative deprivation
  • Subjective well-being


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