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The Sensitivity of Income Inequality to Choice of Equivalence Scales

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  • Aaberge, Rolf
  • Melby, Ingrid

Abstract

To account for the fact that a household's needs depend on its size and composition most studies on income inequality adjust the observed household incomes by equivalence scales. However, since the rationale for choosing a specific scale is rather vague the importance of testing the sensitivity of income inequality estimates to choice of equivalence scales has long been acknowledged. The sensitivity studies in the literature are restricted to equivalence scales that do not depend on the income level of the reference household which means that the effect of a rise in the household size on the scale rate does not depend on whether the household is poor or rich. By using Norwegian micro-data it is shown that the introduction of an income-dependent scale produces results that are in conflict with the widespread view of robustness of results to choice of equivalence scales. Copyright 1998 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in its journal Review of Income & Wealth.

Volume (Year): 44 (1998)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 565-69

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Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:44:y:1998:i:4:p:565-69

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Cited by:
  1. Bönke, Timm & Schröder, Carsten, 2007. "Equivalence scales reconsidered: an empirical investigation," Economics Working Papers 2007,31, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  2. Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka, 2000. "Personelle Einkommensverteilung und der Einfluß von Imputed Rent," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 225, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Whitehouse, Edward, 2000. "How poor are the old? a survey of evidence from 44 countries," Social Protection Discussion Papers 23141, The World Bank.
  4. Timm Bönke & Carsten Schröder, 2010. "Country Inequality Rankings and Conversion Schemes," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1068, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka, 2001. "Der Einfluß von Imputed Rent auf die personelle Einkommensverteilung," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 221(3), pages 285-308.
  6. Brian Nolan & Christopher T. Whelan, 2010. "Using non-monetary deprivation indicators to analyze poverty and social exclusion: Lessons from Europe?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 305-325.
  7. Bente Halvorsen, 2009. "Conflicting Interests in Environmental Policy-making?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(2), pages 287-305, October.
  8. Johannes Schwarze, 2000. "Using Panel Data on Income Satisfaction to Estimate the Equivalence Scale Elasticity," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 227, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 2001. "Cross-country comparisons of pensioners’ incomes," MPRA Paper 16345, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Jürgen Faik, 2011. "A new framework of measuring inequality: Variable equivalence scales and group-specific well-being limits. Sensitivity findings for German personal income distribution 1995-2009," Working Papers 219, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  11. Hillringhaus, Tilman & Peichl, Andreas, 2010. "Die Messung von Armut unter Berücksichtigung regional divergierender Lebenshaltungskosten und öffentlicher Leistungen," IZA Discussion Papers 5344, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Rolf Aaberge & Audun Langørgen, 2006. "Measuring The Benefits From Public Services: The Effects Of Local Government Spending On The Distribution Of Income In Norway," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(1), pages 61-83, 03.
  13. Erling Røed Larsen, 2002. "Consumption Inequality in Norway in the 80s and 90s," Discussion Papers 325, Research Department of Statistics Norway.

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