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Should We Be Concerned about the Distribution of Literacy across Households? An Axiomatic Investigation

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  • Valenti, Paola

    (Cornell U)

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    Abstract

    This paper proposes a class of literacymeasures that takes into account the externality generated by the presence of literates in the household. It is claimed that such externality is increasing in the number of literates in the household, has characteristics of rivalry in consumption, and therefore is a function of the distribution of literates and illiterates in the household. The measure is given a full axiomatic characterization, and it is shown that its use may reverse the ranking of geographical areas obtained by using other literacy measures.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics in its series Working Papers with number 02-15.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:02-15

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    1. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
    2. Foster, James E, 1994. "Normative Measurement: Is Theory Relevant?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 365-70, May.
    3. Basu, Kaushik & Foster, James E, 1998. "On Measuring Literacy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1733-49, November.
    4. Gibson, John, 2001. "Literacy and Intrahousehold Externalities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 155-166, January.
    5. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
    6. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    7. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-64, July.
    8. Mitra, Tapan, 2002. "On Literacy Rankings," Working Papers 02-16, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
    9. Basu, Kaushik & Narayan, Ambar & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Is knowledge shared within households?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2261, The World Bank.
    10. Clark, Stephen & Hemming, Richard & Ulph, David, 1981. "On Indices for the Measurement of Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(362), pages 515-26, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Nolen, Patrick, 2013. "Unemployment and household values: Distribution sensitive measures of unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 354-362.

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