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Welfare Comparisons: Sequential Procedures for Heterogeneous Populations

  • Lambert, Peter J
  • Ramos, Xavier

Some analysts use sequential dominance criteria, and others use equivalence scales in combination with non-sequential dominance tests, to make welfare comparisons of joint distributions of income and needs. In this paper we present a new sequential procedure which copes with situations in which sequential dominance fails. We also demonstrate that the recommendations deriving from the sequential approach are valid for distributions of equivalent income whatever equivalence scale the analyst might adopt. Thus, the paper marries together the sequential and equivalizing approaches, seen as alternatives in much previous literature. All results are specified in forms that allow for demographic differences in the populations being compared. Copyright 2002 by The London School of Economics and Political Science

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Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 69 (2002)
Issue (Month): 276 (November)
Pages: 549-62

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:69:y:2002:i:276:p:549-62
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  1. Whitmore, G A, 1970. "Third-Degree Stochastic Dominance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 457-59, June.
  2. Ebert, Udo, 1995. "Income inequality and differences in household size," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 37-55, August.
  3. Fleurbaey, Marc & Hagnere, Cyrille & Trannoy, Alain, 2003. "Welfare comparisons with bounded equivalence scales," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 309-336, June.
  4. Chambaz, Christine & Maurin, Eric, 1998. "Atkinson and Bourguignon's Dominance Criteria: Extended and Applied to the Measurement of Poverty in France," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(4), pages 497-513, December.
  5. Bishop, John A. & Formby, John P. & Thistle, Paul D., 1991. "Rank dominance and international comparisons of income distributions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1399-1409, October.
  6. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. I," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 416-442, June.
  7. Patrick MOYES (GREThA et IDEP Marseille), 2011. "Comparisons of Heterogeneous Distributions and Dominance Criteria," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-23, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  8. Atkinson, A. B., 1990. "Public economics and the economic public," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 225-248, May.
  9. Ebert, Udo, 2000. "Sequential Generalized Lorenz Dominance and Transfer Principles," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 113-22, April.
  10. Udo Ebert & Patrick Moyes, 2000. "Adjusting Incomes for Needs: Can One Avoid Equivalence Scales?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0917, Econometric Society.
  11. Ebert, Udo, 1997. "Social Welfare When Needs Differ: An Axiomatic Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 233-44, May.
  12. Shorrocks, Anthony F & Foster, James E, 1987. "Transfer Sensitive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 485-97, July.
  13. Banks, James & Johnson, Paul, 1994. "Equivalence Scale Relativities Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 883-90, July.
  14. Fisher, Franklin M, 1987. "Household Equivalence Scales and Interpersonal Comparisons," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 519-24, July.
  15. Jenkins, Stephen P & Lambert, Peter J, 1993. "Ranking Income Distributions When Needs Differ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(4), pages 337-56, December.
  16. Udo Ebert, 1999. "Using equivalent income of equivalent adults to rank income distributions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 233-258.
  17. Bourguignon, Francois, 1989. "Family size and social utility : Income distribution dominance criteria," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-80, September.
  18. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Differences in Needs and Assessment of Income Distributions," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 77-124, April.
  19. Ok, Efe A. & Lambert, Peter J., 1999. "On evaluating social welfare by sequential generalized Lorenz dominance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 45-53, April.
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