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Equivalence Scales for the Former West Germany

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Author Info

  • Charlier, E.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

Equivalence scales provide answers to questions like how much a household with four children needs to spend compared to a household with two children or how much a childless couple needs to spend compared to a single person household to attain the same welfare level. These are important questions for child allowances, social benefits and to assess the cost of children over the life-cycle for example. The latter is also interesting from a theoretical point of view, especially if future events are allowed to be uncertain. We discuss equivalence scales in an intertemporal setting with uncertainty. To estimate equivalence scales we use subjective data on satisfaction with life and satisfaction with income to represent the welfare level. Because satisfaction is measured on a discrete scale we use limited dependent variable models in estimation. The results are based on a panel from German households (GSOEP). Using satisfaction with life data we find that larger households do not need any additional income to be as satisfied with their life as a couple. Using satisfaction with income, however, indicates that an increase in the household size leads to a significant drop in the satisfaction with their income. This result is used to compute equivalence scales.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 1997-74.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:199774

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: (lifetime) equivalence scales; panel data; parametric models;

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References

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  1. Hardle, W., 1992. "Applied Nonparametric Methods," Papers 9206, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  2. Praag, B.M.S. van & Kapteyn, A.J., 1973. "Further evidence on the individual welfare function of income: An empirical investigation in The Netherlands," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-361895, Tilburg University.
  3. Oliver LINTON, . "Applied nonparametric methods," Statistic und Oekonometrie 9312, Humboldt Universitaet Berlin.
  4. Das, Marcel & van Soest, Arthur, 1999. "A panel data model for subjective information on household income growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 409-426, December.
  5. Kapteyn, A.J. & Kooreman, P. & Willemse, R.J., 1988. "Some methodological issues in the implementation of subjective poverty definitions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-364358, Tilburg University.
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  7. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1995. "Unemployment: Where does it Hurt?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1093, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Preston, Ian, 1994. "Life-cycle expenditure allocations and the consumption costs of children," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1391-1410, August.
  9. van Praag, Bernard M S & Hagenaars, Aldi J M & van Weeren, Hans, 1982. "Poverty in Europe," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 28(3), pages 345-59, September.
  10. Bernard M. S. van Praag & Nico L. van der Sar, 1988. "Household Cost Functions and Equivalence Scales," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(2), pages 193-210.
  11. Detlef Landua, 1992. "An attempt to classify satisfaction changes: Methodological and content aspects of a longitudinal problem," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 221-241, May.
  12. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  13. Melenberg, B. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 1996. "Measuring the costs of children: Parametric and semiparametric estimators," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-72215, Tilburg University.
  14. Pollak, Robert A & Wales, Terence J, 1979. "Welfare Comparisons and Equivalence Scales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 216-21, May.
  15. Manski, Charles F., 1985. "Semiparametric analysis of discrete response : Asymptotic properties of the maximum score estimator," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 313-333, March.
  16. Kodde, D A & Palm, Franz C & Pfann, G A, 1990. "Asymptotic Least-Squares Estimation Efficiency Considerations and Applications," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(3), pages 229-43, July-Sept.
  17. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Eric Bonsang & Arthur Soest, 2012. "Satisfaction with Job and Income Among Older Individuals Across European Countries," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 105(2), pages 227-254, January.
  2. Arie Kapteyn & James P. Smith & Arthur van Soest, 2011. "Are Americans Really Less Happy With Their Incomes?," Working Papers 858, RAND Corporation Publications Department.

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