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Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation

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  • Jean-Yves Duclos
  • Joan Esteban
  • Debraj Ray

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, we develop the measurement theory of polarization for the case in which income distributions can be described using density functions. Second, we provide sample estimators of population polarization indices that can be used to compare polarization across time or entities. Distribution-free statistical inference results are also derived in order to ensure that the orderings of polarization across entities are not simply due to sampling noise. An illustration of the use of these tools using data from 21 countries shows that polarization and inequality orderings can often differ in practice.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 46.

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Date of creation: Sep 2003
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:46

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Keywords: Polarization; income distribution; conflict;

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  3. HÄRDLE, Wolfgang, 1992. "Applied nonparametric methods," CORE Discussion Papers, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) 1992003, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  8. Esteban, J. & Gradin, C. & Ray, D., 1999. "Extension of a Measure of Polarization, with an Application to the Income Distribution of Five OECD Countries," Papers, El Instituto de Estudios Economicos de Galicia Pedro Barrie de la Maza 24, El Instituto de Estudios Economicos de Galicia Pedro Barrie de la Maza.
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  13. Davidson, R. & Duclos, J.Y., 1995. "Statistical Inference for the Measurement of the Incidence of Taxes and Transfers," G.R.E.Q.A.M., Universite Aix-Marseille III 95a30, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
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  18. Norman Loayza & Pablo Fajnzylber & Daniel Lederman, 2000. "Crime and Victimization: An Economic Perspective," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  19. Beach, Charles M & Richmond, James, 1985. "Joint Confidence Intervals for Income Shares and Lorenz Curves," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 439-50, June.
  20. Gradin, Carlos, 2000. "Polarization by Sub-populations in Spain, 1973-91," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(4), pages 457-74, December.
  21. Oliver LINTON, . "Applied nonparametric methods," Statistic und Oekonometrie, Humboldt Universitaet Berlin 9312, Humboldt Universitaet Berlin.
  22. Chakravarty, Satya R & Majumder, Amita, 2001. "Inequality, Polarisation and Welfare: Theory and Applications," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, March.
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