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To Each the Same and to Each his Own: A Proposal to Measure Responsibility-Sensitive Income Inequality




This paper deals with the question of how to incorporate modern responsibility-catering egalitarianism into economic theory on the measurement of income inequality. I present a particular axiomatic expression of the main aspects of such egalitarianism. Then, to measure offensive inequality separately I construct a norm or reference income distribution based upon the axiomatic model to replace the perfectly equal income distribution that is used as norm by all common inequality measures. I defend the use of a particular measure of distributional change to determine the degree of offensive inequality, and apply the method to Belgian income data. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2007.

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  • Kurt Devooght, 2008. "To Each the Same and to Each his Own: A Proposal to Measure Responsibility-Sensitive Income Inequality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 280-295, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:75:y:2008:i:298:p:280-295

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Judith Niehues & Andreas Peichl, 2014. "Upper bounds of inequality of opportunity: theory and evidence for Germany and the US," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(1), pages 73-99, June.
    2. Judith Niehues & Andreas Peichl, 2011. "Lower and Upper Bounds of Unfair Inequality: Theory and Evidence for Germany and the US," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 395, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Vito Peragine, 2015. "Equality of opportunity: Theory and evidence," Working Papers 359, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    4. Erik Figueiredo & José Silva Netto Junior, 2014. "More equal but not so fair: an analysis of Brazilian income distribution from 1995 to 2009," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 1325-1337, June.
    5. Magdalou, Brice & Nock, Richard, 2011. "Income distributions and decomposable divergence measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2440-2454.
    6. Almås, Ingvild & Cappelen, Alexander W. & Lind, Jo Thori & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2011. "Measuring unfair (in)equality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 488-499.
    7. Pilar García‐Gómez & Erik Schokkaert & Tom Van Ourti & Teresa Bago d'Uva, 2015. "Inequity in the Face of Death," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(10), pages 1348-1367, October.
    8. Erik Figueiredo, 2011. "A Note on the Measurement of Unfair Inequality in Brazil," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(4), pages 2944-2951.
    9. Frank Cowell & Emmanuel Flachaire & Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, 2013. "Reference distributions and inequality measurement," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(4), pages 421-437, December.
    10. repec:zbw:rwirep:0492 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Matthias Giesecke & Sarah Okoampah, 2014. "Inequality of Opportunity in Retirement Age – The Role of Physical Job Demands," Ruhr Economic Papers 0492, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    12. Giesecke, Matthias & Okoampah, Sarah, 2014. "Inequality of Opportunity in Retirement Age – The Role of Physical Job Demands," Ruhr Economic Papers 492, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    13. X. Ramos & D. Van De Gaer, 2012. "Empirical Approaches to Inequality of Opportunity: Principles, Measures, and Evidence," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 12/792, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    14. Judith Niehues & Andreas Peichl, 2012. "Bounds of Unfair Inequality of Opportunity: Theory and Evidence for Germany and the US," CESifo Working Paper Series 3815, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. John E. Roemer & Alain Trannoy, 2013. "Equality of Opportunity," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1921, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    16. Ana Suárez Álvarez & Ana Jesús López Menéndez, 2016. "Inequality of opportunity and income inequality in Spain: An analysis over time," Working Papers 423, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    17. John E. Roemer & Alain Trannoy, 2016. "Equality of Opportunity: Theory and Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1288-1332, December.
    18. Annegues, Ana Claudia & Figueiredo, Erik Alencar de & Santos de Farias Souza, Wallace Patrick, 2015. "Determinants of unfair inequality in Brazil, 1995 and 2009," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), April.
    19. Dirk Van de gaer & Xavier Ramos, 2015. "Measurement of inequality of opportunity based on counterfactuals," Working Papers 388, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    20. Erik Alencar de Figueiredo & Cleiton Roberto da Fonseca Silva, 2012. "Fairness and Income Redistribution- an Analysis of the Latin American Tax System," Série Textos para Discussão (Working Papers) 4, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Economia - PPGE, Universidade Federal da Paraíba.
    21. Arthur Tarasov, 2015. "Is Equality Fair?," The International Journal of Economic Behavior - IJEB, Faculty of Business and Administration, University of Bucharest, vol. 5(1), pages 133-148, December.
    22. Magali Jaoul-Grammare & Brice Magdalou, 2013. "Opportunities in Higher Education: An Application to France," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 111-112, pages 295-325.
    23. Niehues, J. (Judith) & Andreas Peichl, 2012. "GINI DP 34: Bounds of Unfair Inequality of Opportunity: Theory and Evidence for Germany and the US," GINI Discussion Papers 34, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    24. repec:spr:sochwe:v:49:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00355-017-1076-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Jochen Mierau & Stephen Turnovsky, 2014. "Demography, growth, and inequality," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(1), pages 29-68, January.

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