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Poverty and Welfare Measurement on the Basis of Prospect Theory

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  • Markus Jäntti
  • Ravi Kanbur
  • Milla Nyyssölä
  • Jukka Pirttilä

Abstract

This paper examines the measurement of social welfare, poverty and inequality taking into account reference-dependence, loss aversion and diminishing sensitivity—aspects emphasized in Prospect Theory—to social welfare measurement. We suggest a new notion of equivalent income, the income level with which the individual would be as well off, evaluated using a standard utility function, as he/she actually is, evaluated with a reference-dependent utility function. We examine the differences between standard poverty and inequality measures based on observed income and measures that are calculated based on equivalent income. These differences are illustrated using household-level panel data from Russia and Vietnam.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2013/wp-cesifo-2013-01/cesifo1_wp4095.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4095.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4095

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Keywords: Prospect Theory; poverty; inequality; welfare measurement; vulnerability;

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  1. Richard Layard & Guy Mayraz & Stephen Nickell, 2009. "Does Relative Income Matter?: Are the Critics Right?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 210, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Stefano Bartolini & Ennio Bilancini & Francesco Sarracino, 2013. "Predicting the Trend of Well-Being in Germany: How Much Do Comparisons, Adaptation and Sociability Matter?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 169-191, November.
  3. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Peter, Klara Sabirianova & Stolyarov, Dmitriy, 2009. "Inequality and Volatility Moderation in Russia: Evidence from Micro-Level Panel Data on Consumption and Income," IZA Discussion Papers 4233, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Senik, Claudia, 2004. "When information dominates comparison: Learning from Russian subjective panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2099-2123, August.
  5. Gaiha, Raghav & Imai, Katsushi, 2008. "Measuring Vulnerability and Poverty: Estimates for Rural India," Working Paper Series RP2008/40, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. Engström, Per & Nordblom, Katarina & Ohlsson, Henry & Persson, Annika, 2011. "Loss evasion and tax aversion," Working Papers in Economics 518, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  7. Cesar Calvo & Stefan Dercon, 2005. "Measuring Individual Vulnerability," Economics Series Working Papers 229, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  9. Delavande, Adeline & Gine, Xavier & McKenzie, David, 2009. "Measuring Subjective Expectations in Developing Countries: A Critical Review and New Evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4824, The World Bank.
  10. Cesar Calvo & Stefan Dercon, 2007. "Chronic Poverty and All That: The Measurement of Poverty over Time," CSAE Working Paper Series 2007-04, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  11. Rafael Di Tella & John Haisken-De New & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Happiness Adaptation to Income and to Status in an Individual Panel," NBER Working Papers 13159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ligon, Ethan & Schechter, Laura, 2002. "Measuring Vulnerability," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19899, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  13. Luc Christiaensen & Anthony Shorrocks, 2012. "Measuring poverty over time," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 137-143, June.
  14. Bernard Praag, 2011. "Well-being inequality and reference groups: an agenda for new research," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 111-127, March.
  15. Graham, Carol & Eggers, Andrew & Sukhtankar, Sandip, 2004. "Does happiness pay?: An exploration based on panel data from Russia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 319-342, November.
  16. Booij, Adam S. & van Praag, Bernard M. S. & van de Kuilen, Gijs, 2009. "A Parametric Analysis of Prospect Theory's Functionals for the General Population," IZA Discussion Papers 4117, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Luna Bellani & Conchita D’Ambrosio, 2011. "Deprivation, Social Exclusion and Subjective Well-Being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 67-86, October.
  18. Shorrocks, Anthony, 1978. "Income inequality and income mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 376-393, December.
  19. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  20. Carlsson, Fredrik & Nam, Pham Khanh & Linde-Rahr, Martin & Martinsson, Peter, 2005. "Are Vietnamese Farmers Concerned with their Relative Position in Society?," Working Papers in Economics 165, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  21. Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," IZA Discussion Papers 2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Channing Arndt & Andres Garcia & Finn Tarp & James Thurlow, 2010. "Poverty Reduction and Economic Structure Comparative Path Analysis for Mozambique and Vietnam," Working Paper Series wp2010-122, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  23. Kaushik Basu & Patrick Nolen, 2006. "Vulnerability, Unemployment and Poverty: A Class of Distribution and Sensitive Measures, Its Axiomatic Properties and Applications," Economics Discussion Papers 623, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  24. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  25. Kanbur Ravi, 2001. "Economic Policy, Distribution and Poverty: The Nature of Disagreements," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-26, April.
  26. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Transient Poverty in Postreform Rural China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 338-357, June.
  27. Indranil Dutta & James Foster & Ajit Mishra, 2011. "On measuring vulnerability to poverty," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 743-761, October.
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