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International Income Comparisons and Location Choice: Methodology, Analysis, and Implications

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Abstract

This paper contributes to ongoing debates on international income comparisons by deploying a novel methodology for constructing empirical distribution functions for the United States and Canada over the period 1993 - 2000. We also conduct tests for first, second, third order stochastic dominance and of intersection of distributions, to determine which,if either, country might be a preferred destination for migration. Our findings are for that all of the years for which there is comparable data, the Canadian income distribution second order stochastically dominates the US income distribution. We provide an interpretation in terms of expected utility theory, considering the case of log utility, and relate our findings to an argument by Joseph Stiglitz, that in the face of skewness of income distributions a potential migrant should look at the median rather than the mean. It turns out that Stiglitz's intuition is correct, at least in the context of our study.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 08-02.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 05 Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published: Carleton Economic Papers
Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:08-02

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Keywords: Non-parametrics; Finite Mixtures; Heterogeneous Income Distribution; Stochastic Dominance; Kolmogorov-Smirnov type statistic; Bootstrap.;

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  1. Oliver Linton & Esfandiar Maasoumi & Yoon-Jae Whang, 2003. "Consistent testing for stochastic dominance under general sampling schemes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2208, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Garry F. Barrett & Stephen G. Donald, 2003. "Consistent Tests for Stochastic Dominance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 71-104, January.
  3. Thomas Fraker & Rebecca Maynard, 1987. "The Adequacy of Comparison Group Designs for Evaluations of Employment-Related Programs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(2), pages 194-227.
  4. Burkhauser, Richard V, et al, 1999. "Testing the Significance of Income Distribution Changes over the 1980s Business Cycle: A Cross-National Comparison," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 253-72, May-June.
  5. Horvath, Lajos & Kokoszka, Piotr & Zitikis, Ricardas, 2006. "Testing for stochastic dominance using the weighted McFadden-type statistic," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 191-205, July.
  6. Anderson, Gordon, 1996. "Nonparametric Tests of Stochastic Dominance in Income Distributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1183-93, September.
  7. Davidson, R. & Duclos, J.-Y., 1998. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 98a14, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521496032 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Schmid, Friedrich & Trede, Mark, 1998. "A Kolmogorov-type test for second-order stochastic dominance," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 183-193, February.
  10. Kaur, Amarjot & Prakasa Rao, B.L.S. & Singh, Harshinder, 1994. "Testing for Second-Order Stochastic Dominance of Two Distributions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(05), pages 849-866, December.
  11. Isaias H. Salgado-Ugarte & Marco A. Perez-Hernandez, 2003. "Exploring the use of variable bandwidth kernel density estimators," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(2), pages 133-147, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Vivek Dehejia & Jiankang Zhang, 2008. "Can Median-Maximizing Behavior Be Rational?," Carleton Economic Papers 08-09, Carleton University, Department of Economics.

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