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Is India better off today than 15 years ago? A robust multidimensional answer

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  • Nicolas Gravel

    ()

  • Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay

    ()

Abstract

This paper provides a robust normative evaluation of the spectacular growth episode that India has experienced in the last 15 years. Specifically, the paper compares the evolution, between 1998, 1996 and 2001 of the distribution of several important individual attributes on the basis of ethically robust dominance criteria. The individual attributes considered are real consumptions (measured at the individual level), literacy rate, infant mortality and violent crime rates (all measured at the district levels). District level variables are interpreted as (local) public goods which, along with consumption, are assumed to contribute to individual well being. The robust criteria used are generalizations, to more than two attributes, of the first and the second order dominance criteria of Atkinson and Bourguignon (1982) and are known to correspond to the unanimity of utilitarian value judgements taken over a specific class of individual utility functions. The main result of the empirical analysis is that all utilitarian rankings of distributions of the four attributes who assume that individual utility functions satisfy the assumptions of second order dominance agree that India is better off in 2002 than in 1996. Furthermore, if one removes crime from the list of attributes, the dominance is shown to apply steadily over the whole period and to be of first order on the period 1988-1996.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal The Journal of Economic Inequality.

Volume (Year): 8 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 173-195

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:8:y:2010:i:2:p:173-195

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Web page: http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=111137

Related research

Keywords: Poverty; Welfare; Dominance; Multidimensional; Development; Local public goods;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Muller, Christophe & Trannoy, Alain, 2011. "A dominance approach to the appraisal of the distribution of well-being across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3-4), pages 239-246, April.
  2. Benoît Tarroux, 2012. "Are equalization payments making Canadians better off? A two-dimensional dominance answer," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 19-44, March.
  3. Channing Arndt & Roberta Distante & M. Azhar Hussain & Lars Peter Østerdal & Pham Lan Huong & Maimuna Ibraimo, 2011. "Ordinal Welfare Comparisons with Multiple Discrete Indicators: A First Order Dominance Approach and Application to Child Poverty," Discussion Papers 11-13, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  4. Sonne-Schmidt, Christoffer & Tarp, Finn & Osterdal, Lars Peter, 2013. "Ordinal multidimensional inequality," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  5. Hussain, M. Azhar & Jørgensen, Mette Møller & Østerdal, Lars Peter, 2014. "Refining Population Health Comparisons: A Multidimensional First Order Dominance Approach," COHERE Working Paper 2014:5, COHERE - Centre of Health Economics Research, University of Southern Denmark.
  6. Damien Vaquier, 2010. "The Impact of Slum Resettlement on Urban Integration in Mumbai: The Case of the Chandivali Project," Working Papers id:2428, eSocialSciences.
  7. Damien Krichewsky, 2010. "Negotiating the Terms of A New Social Contract: Private Companies, Civil Society and the State in India," Working Papers id:2394, eSocialSciences.
  8. Nicolas Gravel & Benoit Tarroux, 2008. "Robust Normative Comparisons of Socially Risky Situations," IDEP Working Papers 0806, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised 15 Oct 2008.

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