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The Gini Coefficient Reveals More

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  • Peter J. Lambert
  • André Decoster

Abstract

We revisit the well-known decomposition of the Gini coefficient into betweengroups, within-groups and overlap terms in the context of two groups in which the incomes in one group may be scaled and that group’s population weight modified. In this more general setting than usual, we focus on the properties of the overlap term, proving inter alia that overlap unambiguously reduces as a result of a within-group progressive transfer, and is increased by scaling up the incomes in the group with the lower mean, reaching a maximum when the two means become the same. In the case of a socially heterogeneous population and equivalized incomes, the effect on the Gini overlap of changing the income unit is determined, along with that of adjusting the equivalence scale deflator in case the income unit is the equivalent adult (such adjustment simultaneously changing the weighting of income units).

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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces0508.

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Date of creation: Mar 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0508

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Cited by:
  1. Timm Bönke & Carsten Schröder, 2008. "Equivalence scales reconsidered – an empirical investigation," Working Papers 102, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  2. Jiandong Chen & Dai Dai & Ming Pu & Wenxuan Hou & Qiaobin Feng, 2010. "The trend of the Gini coefficient of China," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 10910, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  3. Almås, Ingvild & Mogstad, Magne, 2010. "Older or Wealthier? The Impact of Age Adjustment on Cross-Sectional Inequality Measures," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 9/2010, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  4. Paul Allanson, 2013. "Income stratification and between-group inequality," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 275, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  5. Almas, Ingvild & Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2011. "Baby Booming Inequality? Demographic Change and Earnings Inequality in Norway, 1967-2000," CEPR Discussion Papers 8393, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Shlomo Yitzhaki & Edna Schechtman, 2009. "The “melting pot”: A success story?," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 137-151, June.
  7. Paolo Liberati & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2012. "GDP and beyond: an implementation of welfare considerations to the distribution of earnings in Italy," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0146, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
  8. Ebert, Udo, 2010. "The decomposition of inequality reconsidered: Weakly decomposable measures," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 94-103, September.
  9. Mornet, Pauline & Zoli, Claudio & Mussard, Stéphane & Sadefo-Kamdem, Jules & Seyte, Françoise & Terraza, Michel, 2013. "The (α, β)-multi-level α-Gini decomposition with an illustration to income inequality in France in 2005," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 944-963.

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