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Can Safety Nets Offset the Impact of Risk on Wage Inequality and Social Welfare?

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Author Info

  • Paul Makdissi

    ()
    (Département d'économique, Université de Sherbrooke)

  • Quentin Wodon

    ()
    (AFTPM, World Bank)

Abstract

Income variablity reduces social welfare if individuals are risk averse, and it is likely to increase inequality if poorer households are more vulnerable to shocks. Using a simple method to estimate risk-adjusted measures of inequality and welfare and wage data from Mexico, this note shows that it is easier for safety nets to offset the impact of risk on wage inequality than on welfare. This is because apart from its impact on inequality, risk reduces the certainty equivalent income of individuals.

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File URL: http://gredi.recherche.usherbrooke.ca/wpapers/02_08_pm.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 02-08.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision: 2002
Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:02-08

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Postal: Sherbrooke, Québec, J1K 2R1
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Web page: http://www.gredi.org/home/documents-de-travail
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Related research

Keywords: Inequality; Welfare; Risk; Safety Nets; Mexico;

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References

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  1. Shlomo Yitzhaki & Joel Slemrod, 1987. "Welfare Dominance: An Application to Commodity Taxation," NBER Working Papers 2451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hildreth, Clifford & Knowles, Glenn J., 1982. "Some Estimates of Farmers' Utility Functions," Technical Bulletins 54545, University of Minnesota, Agricultural Experiment Station.
  3. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  4. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
  5. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  6. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1978. "Measures of relative equality and their meaning in terms of social welfare," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 59-80, June.
  7. Ravallion, Martin, 1988. "Expected Poverty under Risk-Induced Welfare Variability," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1171-82, December.
  8. Friend, Irwin & Blume, Marshall E, 1975. "The Demand for Risky Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 900-922, December.
  9. Thistle, Paul D., 1993. "Negative Moments, Risk Aversion, and Stochastic Dominance," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 301-311, June.
  10. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Petr Hanel, 2003. "Impact Of Government Support Programs On Innovation By Canadian Manufacturing Firms," Cahiers de recherche 04-02, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.
  2. Pene Kalulumia & Denis Bolduc, 2004. "Generalized Mixed Estimation Of A Multinomial Discretecontinuous Choice Model For Electricity Demand," Cahiers de recherche 04-01, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.
  3. Pene Kalulumia, 2002. "Effects of government debt on interest rates: evidence from causality tests in johansen-type models," Cahiers de recherche 02-07, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.

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