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Welfare Comparisons: Sequential Procedures for Heterogeneous Populations

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  • Lambert, Peter J
  • Ramos, Xavier

Abstract

Some analysts use sequential dominance criteria, and others use equivalence scales in combination with non-sequential dominance tests, to make welfare comparisons of joint distributions of income and needs. In this paper we present a new sequential procedure which copes with situations in which sequential dominance fails. We also demonstrate that the recommendations deriving from the sequential approach are valid for distributions of equivalent income whatever equivalence scale the analyst might adopt. Thus, the paper marries together the sequential and equivalizing approaches, seen as alternatives in much previous literature. All results are specified in forms that allow for demographic differences in the populations being compared. Copyright 2002 by The London School of Economics and Political Science

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 69 (2002)
Issue (Month): 276 (November)
Pages: 549-62

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:69:y:2002:i:276:p:549-62

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  1. Whitmore, G A, 1970. "Third-Degree Stochastic Dominance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 457-59, June.
  2. Bishop, John A. & Formby, John P. & Thistle, Paul D., 1991. "Rank dominance and international comparisons of income distributions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1399-1409, October.
  3. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Differences in Needs and Assessment of Income Distributions," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 77-124, April.
  4. Ebert, Udo, 2000. "Sequential Generalized Lorenz Dominance and Transfer Principles," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 113-22, April.
  5. Udo Ebert, 1999. "Using equivalent income of equivalent adults to rank income distributions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 233-258.
  6. Fisher, Franklin M, 1987. "Household Equivalence Scales and Interpersonal Comparisons," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 519-24, July.
  7. Moyes, Patrick, 2012. "Comparisons of heterogeneous distributions and dominance criteria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1351-1383.
  8. Banks, James & Johnson, Paul, 1994. "Equivalence Scale Relativities Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 883-90, July.
  9. Shorrocks, Anthony F & Foster, James E, 1987. "Transfer Sensitive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 485-97, July.
  10. Ok, Efe A. & Lambert, Peter J., 1999. "On evaluating social welfare by sequential generalized Lorenz dominance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 45-53, April.
  11. Ebert, Udo, 1997. "Social Welfare When Needs Differ: An Axiomatic Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 233-44, May.
  12. Bourguignon, Francois, 1989. "Family size and social utility : Income distribution dominance criteria," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-80, September.
  13. Udo Ebert & Patrick Moyes, 2000. "Adjusting Incomes for Needs: Can One Avoid Equivalence Scales?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0917, Econometric Society.
  14. M. Fleurbaey & C. Hagneré & A. Trannoy, 1998. "Welfare comparisons with bounded equivalence scales," THEMA Working Papers 98-23, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  15. Jenkins, Stephen P & Lambert, Peter J, 1993. "Ranking Income Distributions When Needs Differ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(4), pages 337-56, December.
  16. Atkinson, A. B., 1990. "Public economics and the economic public," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 225-248, May.
  17. Ebert U., 1996. "Income inequality and differences in household size," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 57-58, February.
  18. Chambaz, Christine & Maurin, Eric, 1998. "Atkinson and Bourguignon's Dominance Criteria: Extended and Applied to the Measurement of Poverty in France," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(4), pages 497-513, December.
  19. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. I," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 416-442, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Ooghe, Erwin, 2007. "Sequential dominance and weighted utilitarianism," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 208-212, February.
  2. Claudio Zoli & Peter Lambert, 2012. "Sequential procedures for poverty gap dominance," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 649-673, July.
  3. Erwin Ooghe & Peter J. Lambert, 2005. "On Bounded Dominance Criteria," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2005-6, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 May 2005.
  4. Savaglio, Ernesto, 2011. "On multidimensional inequality with variable distribution mean," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 453-461.
  5. Patrick MOYES (GREThA et IDEP Marseille), 2011. "Comparisons of Heterogeneous Distributions and Dominance Criteria," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-23, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  6. Udo Ebert, 2010. "Dominance criteria for welfare comparisons: using equivalent income to describe differences in needs," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(1), pages 55-67, July.
  7. Magne Mogstad, 2007. "Measuring Income Inequality under Restricted Interpersonal Comparability," Discussion Papers 498, Research Department of Statistics Norway.

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