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International Comparisons of Income Inequality: Tests for Lorenz Dominance across Nine Countries


  • Bishop, John A
  • Formby, John P
  • Smith, W James


This paper examines income inequality across nine countries using the Luxembourg Income Study data set. New statistical tests and comparability of data provide an exceptionally clear picture of relative income inequality. Only 4 comparisons out of a possible 108 cannot be ranked. In most cases, differences in the definition of the recipient unit make little difference in the rankings. Irrespective of recipient units, Sweden, Norway, and Germany come out at the top of the ordinal Lorenz ranking, with Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom in the middle, and the United States and Switzerland at the bottom. Copyright 1991 by The London School of Economics and Political Science.

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  • Bishop, John A & Formby, John P & Smith, W James, 1991. "International Comparisons of Income Inequality: Tests for Lorenz Dominance across Nine Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(232), pages 461-477, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:58:y:1991:i:232:p:461-77

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cowell, Frank & Victoria-Feser, Maria-Pia, 1998. "Statistical inference for Lorenz curves with censored data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2049, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Burkhauser, Richard V. & Feng, Shuaizhang & Larrimore, Jeff, 2009. "Measuring inequality using censored data: a multiple imputation approach," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-04, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Stephen G. Donald & Yu‐Chin Hsu & Garry F. Barrett, 2012. "Incorporating covariates in the measurement of welfare and inequality: methods and applications," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 15(1), pages 1-30, February.
    4. Garry F. Barrett & Stephen G. Donald & Debopam Bhattacharya, 2014. "Consistent Nonparametric Tests for Lorenz Dominance," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(1), pages 1-13, January.
    5. Frank A. Cowell & Emmanuel Flachaire, 2014. "Statistical Methods for Distributional Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01115996, HAL.
    6. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & Bleichrodt, Han & Calonge, Samuel & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna & Hakkinen, Unto & Leu, Robert E., 1997. "Income-related inequalities in health: some international comparisons," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 93-112, February.
    7. María Margarita Bahamón & Juana Domínguez & José Javier Núñez, 2013. "La pobreza en Colombia, 2001-2005. Curvas globales, dominancia y aspectos inferenciales," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 15(29), pages 149-167, July-Dece.
    8. Jirada Prasartpornsirichoke & Yoshi Takahashi & Peera Charoenporn, 2012. "The Ranking of Inequality in Human Capital: Evidence from Asian Countries," IDEC DP2 Series 2-14, Hiroshima University, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC).
    9. Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Absolute Income, Relative Income, Income Inequality, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    10. Patrick Moyes & Stephen Bazen, 2003. "International Comparisons of Income Distribution," LIS Working papers 341, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    11. John Bishop & K. Chow & John Formby & Chih-Chin Ho, 1997. "Did Tax Reform Reduce Actual US Progressivity? Evidence from the Taxpayer Compliance Measurement Program," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 4(2), pages 177-197, May.

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