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Social polarization vs income polarization: An international comparison

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  • Damien Echevin

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

Abstract

This paper tackles the issues of social polarization and income polarization in several North American, European and Australian countries in the perspective of redistribution patterns. Presenting a simple theoretical framework, we argue that comparing both types of polarization can help predict the level of redistribution in those countries. We thus propose an accuracy test that consists in predicting a redistribution ordering between countries and compare it with the observed one. Only countries where social polarization ranking and income polarization ranking differ are considered. As a result, we find that our prediction is accurate for about 70% of these pairs of countries.

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File URL: http://gredi.recherche.usherbrooke.ca/wpapers/GREDI-0802.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
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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 08-02.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:08-02

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Keywords: Polarization; Self-reported social status; Income distribution;

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  1. Bénabou, Roland, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1450, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Edward Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Why Doesn't the US Have a European-Style Welfare System?," NBER Working Papers 8524, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Echevin, Damien, 2005. "Bi-polarization comparisons," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 249-258, May.
  4. Bjorklund, Anders & Jantti, Markus, 1997. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden Compared to the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1009-18, December.
  5. Allison, R. Andrew & Foster, James E., 2004. "Measuring health inequality using qualitative data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 505-524, May.
  6. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-58, May.
  7. Arnaud Lefranc & Alain Trannoy, 2004. "Intergenerational earnings mobility in France : Is France more mobile than the US ?," IDEP Working Papers 0401, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised Feb 2004.
  8. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  9. Piketty, Thomas, 1995. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 551-84, August.
  10. Wang, You-Qiang & Tsui, Kai-Yuen, 2000. " Polarization Orderings and New Classes of Polarization Indices," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(3), pages 349-63.
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