Parametric Lorenz Curves and the Modality of the Income Density Function
AbstractSimilar looking Lorenz Curves can imply very different income density functions and potentially lead to wrong policy implications regarding inequality. This paper derives a relation between a Lorenz Curve and the modality of its underlying income density: Given a parametric Lorenz Curve, it is the sign of its third derivative which indicates whether the density is unimodal or zeromodal (i.e. downward-sloping). Several single- parameter Lorenz Curves such as the Pareto, Chotikapanich and Rohde forms are associated with zeromodal densities. The paper contrasts these Lorenz Curves with the ones derived from the (unimodal) Lognormal density and the Weibull density, which, remarkably, can be zero- or unimodal depending on the parameter. A performance comparison of these five Lorenz Curves with Monte Carlo simulations and data from the UNU-WIDER World Income Inequality Database underlines the relevance of the theoretical result: Curve-fitting of decile data based on criteria such as mean squared error might lead to a Lorenz Curve implying an incorrectly-shaped density function. It is therefore important to take into account the modality when selecting a parametric Lorenz Curve. --
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century with number 67390.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Lorenz Curve; Income Distribution; Modality; Inequality; Goodness of Fit;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
- C16 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Econometric and Statistical Methods; Specific Distributions
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- O57 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-01-12 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kakwani, N C & Podder, N, 1973. "On the Estimation of Lorenz Curves from Grouped Observations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(2), pages 278-92, June.
- Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992.
"A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
- Chotikapanich, Duangkamon, 1993. "A comparison of alternative functional forms for the Lorenz curve," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 129-138.
- Villasenor, JoseA. & Arnold, Barry C., 1989. "Elliptical Lorenz curves," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 327-338, February.
- Ana Castaneda & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2003. "Accounting for the U.S. Earnings and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 818-857, August.
- Rohde, Nicholas, 2009. "An alternative functional form for estimating the Lorenz curve," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 61-63, October.
- Christian Kleiber, 2007. "A Guide to the Dagum Distributions," Working papers 2007/23, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
- Hasegawa, Hikaru & Kozumi, Hideo, 2003. "Estimation of Lorenz curves: a Bayesian nonparametric approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 277-291, August.
- Frank Cowell & Maria-Pia Victoria-Feser, 2007. "Robust stochastic dominance: A semi-parametric approach," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 21-37, April.
- McDonald, James B, 1984. "Some Generalized Functions for the Size Distribution of Income," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 647-63, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.