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Taking prices seriously in the measurement of inequality

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  • Pendakur, Krishna

Abstract

In the measurement of inequality, adjustments for differences across households in their demographic composition and in the price regimes they face are usually very simple. Often, nominal income is adjusted with an income-independent price deflator and a price-independent equivalence scale. I show that using more flexible income-dependent price deflators and price-dependent equivalence scales affects the level of, and trend in, measured consumption inequality in Canada over 1978-1996. Whereas standard methods show a large increase in inequality over the eraly 1980s and a decrease over the mid 1990s, more flexible methods show a smaller increase over the early 1980s and no decrease over the mid 1990s.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 86 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 47-69

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:86:y:2002:i:1:p:47-69

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-42, June.
  2. Barrett, Garry F & Crossley, Thomas F & Worswick, Christopher, 2000. "Consumption and Income Inequality in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 76(233), pages 116-38, June.
  3. Phipps, S.A., 1990. "Measuring Poverty Among Canadian Households: Sensitivity To Choice Of Measure And Scale," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 90-07, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  4. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Krishna Pendakur, 1998. "Semiparametric estimation and consumer demand," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 435-461.
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  7. Apps, Patricia & Savage, Elizabeth, 1989. "Labour supply, welfare rankings and the measurement of inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 335-364, August.
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  13. Pendakur, Krishna, 1998. "Semiparametric estimates and tests of base-independent equivalence scales," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-40, November.
  14. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1997. "Consumption, inequality and income uncertainty," IFS Working Papers W97/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  15. Donaldson, David, 1992. "On The Aggregation Of Money Measures Of Well-Being In Applied Welfare Economics," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 17(01), July.
  16. King, Mervyn A., 1983. "Welfare analysis of tax reforms using household data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 183-214, July.
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  18. Diewert, W E, 1974. "Intertemporal Consumer Theory and the Demand for Durables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(3), pages 497-516, May.
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  20. Daniel T. Slesnick, 1998. "Empirical Approaches to the Measurement of Welfare," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 2108-2165, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Holger Dette & Stefan Hoderlein & Natalie Neumeyer, 2011. "Testing multivariate economic restrictions using quantiles: the example of Slutsky negative semidefiniteness," CeMMAP working papers CWP14/11, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Kenneth W Clements & Grace Gao, 2011. "Quality, Quantity, Spending and Prices," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 11-12, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  3. Arthur Lewbel & Krishna Pendakur, 2009. "Tricks with Hicks: The EASI Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 827-63, June.
  4. Thomas F. Crossley & Krishna Pendakur, 2006. "The Social Cost-of-Living: Welfare Foundations and Estimation," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 407, McMaster University.
  5. Bergh, Andreas & Nilsson, Therese, 2012. "When More Poor Means Less Poverty: On Income Inequality and Purchasing Power," Working Paper Series 900, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Donaldson, David & Pendakur, Krishna, 2004. "Equivalent-expenditure functions and expenditure-dependent equivalence scales," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 175-208, January.
  7. Lyssiotou, Panayiota, 2008. "Comparisons of poverty across periods: Significance of distributional effects of prices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 14-17, April.
  8. Pendakur, Krishna & Scholz, Michael & Sperlich, Stefan, 2010. "Semiparametric indirect utility and consumer demand," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 54(11), pages 2763-2775, November.
  9. Donaldson, David & Pendakur, Krishna, 2010. "Index-Number Tests and the Common-Scaling Social Cost-of-Living Index," Economics working papers david_donaldson-2010-4, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 04 Feb 2010.
  10. Heshmati, Almas, 2004. "Data Issues and Databases Used in Analysis of Growth, Poverty and Economic Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 1263, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Abhimanyu Dadu & Namrata Gulati, 2014. "Inequality, neighborhoods and variation in prices," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-001, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  12. Manisha Chakrabarty & Amita Majumder & Ranjan Ray, 2012. "Preferences, Spatial Prices and Inequality," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 52-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  13. Blacklow, Paul & Nicholas, Aaron & Ray, Ranjan, 2008. "Demographic demand systems with application to equivalence scales estimation and inequality analysis: the Australian evidence," Working Papers 9289, University of Tasmania, School of Economics and Finance, revised 01 Dec 2008.
  14. Lori J. Curtis & JoAnn Kingston-Riechers, 2010. "Implications of the Introduction of the Goods and Services Tax for Families in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 36(4), pages 503-520, December.
  15. Krishna Pendakur & Stefan Sperlich, 2010. "Semiparametric estimation of consumer demand systems in real expenditure," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 420-457.

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