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The choice of inequality measure in empirical research on distributive judgements

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  • Andre Decoster

    ()

  • Erik Schokkaert

    ()

Abstract

We analyse questionnaire data from a representative sample of the Flemish working population. For 781 respondents we construct their perception of the actual and of the fair income distribution. We check whether the use of different inequality measures leads to different interpretations of these data. The ranking of individuals on the basis of their perceived and fair inequality is hardly affected and the same is true for the explanation of the interindividual variation. However, the simple classification of individual respondents in those who want and those who do not want less inequality does depend on the measure used in 20% of the cases. Moreover, the tendency to equalise is a poor measures of conservatism. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2002

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 197-222

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jeczfn:v:9:y:2002:i:1:p:197-222

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=108909

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Keywords: Inequality Measurement; Distributive Justice; Distributinal Change; Perception of Inequality; D63;

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  1. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
  2. van Wijck, Peter, 1994. "Evaluating income distributions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 173-190, March.
  3. Schokkaert, Erik & Capeau, Bart, 1991. "Interindividual Differences in Opinions about Distributive Justice," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 325-45.
  4. Schokkaert, Erik & Lagrou, Leo, 1983. "An empirical approach to distributive justice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 33-52, June.
  5. Harrison, Elizabeth & Seidl, Christian, 1994. " Perceptional Inequality and Preferential Judgements: An Empirical Examination of Distributional Axioms," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(1-2), pages 61-81, April.
  6. Overlaet, Bert & Lagrou, Leo, 1981. "Attitude towards a redistribution of income," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 197-215, September.
  7. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
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