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Accounting For Sri Lanka'S Expenditure Inequality 1980–2002: Regression‐Based Decomposition Approaches

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  • Ramani Gunatilaka
  • Duangkamon Chotikapanich

Abstract

Sri Lanka liberalized its economy in 1977, paving the way for more rapid economic growth and higher rates of job creation. But tensions over distributional issues still plague the body politic. This paper investigates the evolution of Sri Lanka's expenditure distribution in the period 1980–2002 and uses three decomposition methodologies—the Fields, the Shapley value decomposition, and Yun's unified method—to determine underlying causes. The study finds that while average adjusted expenditure rose across strata, the rich experienced more rapid expenditure growth leading to greater inequality. Inequality change was driven by differential access to infrastructure, education, and occupation status. Demographic factors, including ethnicity, and spatial factors contributed very little. The study recommends policies that ensure more equitable access to income earning assets such as education and infrastructure services, and that contain the rise in inequality along sectoral, regional, and ethnic fault lines.

Suggested Citation

  • Ramani Gunatilaka & Duangkamon Chotikapanich, 2009. "Accounting For Sri Lanka'S Expenditure Inequality 1980–2002: Regression‐Based Decomposition Approaches," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(4), pages 882-906, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:55:y:2009:i:4:p:882-906
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4991.2009.00351.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Antonio Duro & Jordi Teixidó-Figueras & Emilio Padilla, 2014. "The causal factors of international inequality in co2 emissions per capita: a regression-based inequality decomposition analysis," Working Papers 2014/20, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. repec:kap:enreec:v:67:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10640-015-9994-x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Teixidó-Figueras, Jordi & Duro, Juan Antonio, 2015. "The building blocks of International Ecological Footprint inequality: A Regression-Based Decomposition," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 30-39.
    4. Rosalba Manna & Andrea Regoli, 2012. "Regression-based approaches for the decomposition of income inequality in Italy, 1998-2008," Rivista di statistica ufficiale, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY), vol. 14(1), pages 5-18, October.
    5. repec:eso:journl:v:49:y:2018:i:2:p:173-200 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gunatilaka, Ramani., 2013. "To work or not to work? : Factors holding women back from market work in Sri Lanka," ILO Working Papers 994838403402676, International Labour Organization.
    7. repec:ilo:ilowps:483840 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Peter Lindner, 2015. "Factor decomposition of the wealth distribution in the euro area," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 291-322, May.
    9. Juan Antonio Duro & Jordi Teixidó-Figueras & Emilio Padilla Rosa, 2014. "The causal factors of international inequality in CO2 emissions per capita: A regression-based inequality decomposition analysis," Working Papers wpdea1402, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.

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