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Relative Inequality and Poverty in Germany and the United States Using Alternative Equivalence Scales

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  • Burkhauser, Richard V
  • Smeeding, Timothy M
  • Merz, Joachim

Abstract

The authors use data from the Luxembourg Income Study to show the sensitivity of measures of relative economic well-being of persons in the United States and Germany using official equivalence scales and consumption-based country-specific equivalence scales developed for the two countries. Overall inequality and poverty levels are found not to be sensitive to the equivalence scale used. However, the official German equivalence scale yields quite different results from the others with respect to the relative income and poverty levels of vulnerable groups within the population, especially older single people. Copyright 1996 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Burkhauser, Richard V & Smeeding, Timothy M & Merz, Joachim, 1996. "Relative Inequality and Poverty in Germany and the United States Using Alternative Equivalence Scales," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(4), pages 381-400, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:42:y:1996:i:4:p:381-400
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Merz, Joachim & Garner, Thesia & Smeeding, Timothy M. & Faik, Jürgen & Johnson, David, 1994. "Two Scales, One Methodology - Expenditure Based Equivalence Scales for the United States and Germany," MPRA Paper 7233, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Jenkins, Stephen P & Cowell, Frank A, 1994. "Parametric Equivalence Scales and Scale Relativities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 891-900, July.
    3. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Equivalence Scale Relativities and the Extent of Inequality and Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1067-1082, September.
    4. Burkhauser, Richard V, et al, 1990. "Economic Burdens of Marital Disruptions: A Comparison of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 36(4), pages 319-333, December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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