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Sequential Stochastic Dominance And The Robustness Of Poverty Orderings

  • Jean-Yves Duclos
  • Paul Makdissi

When comparing poverty across distributions, an analyst must select a poverty line to identify the poor, an equivalence scale to compare individuals from households of different compositions and sizes, and a poverty index to aggregate individual deprivation into an index of total poverty. A different choice of poverty line, poverty index or equivalence scale can of course reverse an initial poverty ordering. This paper develops easily-checked sequential stochastic dominance conditions that throw light on the robustness of poverty comparisons to these important measurement issues. These general conditions extend well-known results to any order of dominance, to the choice of individual versus family based aggregation, and to the estimation of "critical sets" of measurement assumptions. Our theoretical results are briefly illustrated using data for four countries drawn from the Luxembourg Income Study databases. Copyright 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in its journal Review of Income and Wealth.

Volume (Year): 51 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 63-87

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Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:51:y:2005:i:1:p:63-87
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  1. Clark, Stephen & Hemming, Richard & Ulph, David, 1981. "On Indices for the Measurement of Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(362), pages 515-26, June.
  2. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Smeeding, Timothy M. & Merz, Joachim, 1994. "Relative Inequality and Poverty in Germany and the United States Using Alternative Equivalence Scales," MPRA Paper 16295, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Davidson, R. & Duclos, J.-Y., 1998. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 98a14, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  4. Bradbury, Bruce, 1997. "Measuring Poverty Changes with Bounded Equivalence Scales: Australia in the 1980s," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 245-64, May.
  5. Dasgupta, Partha & Sen, Amartya & Starrett, David, 1973. "Notes on the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 180-187, April.
  6. Fishburn, Peter C. & Willig, Robert D., 1984. "Transfer principles in income redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 323-328, December.
  7. Ravallion, Martin & Huppi, Monika, 1991. "Measuring Changes in Poverty: A Methodological Case Study of Indonesia during an Adjustment Period," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 57-82, January.
  8. Lanjouw, Peter & Ravallion, Martin & DEC, 1994. "Poverty and household size," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1332, The World Bank.
  9. 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.
  10. Bourguignon, Francois, 1989. "Family size and social utility : Income distribution dominance criteria," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-80, September.
  11. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  12. de Vos, Klaas & Zaidi, M Asghar, 1997. "Equivalence Scale Sensitivity of Poverty Statistics for the Member States of the European Community," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(3), pages 319-33, September.
  13. 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 1067-82, September.
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