IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

International Income Comparisons and Social Welfare: Methodology, Analysis, and Implications


  • Dehejia Vivek H.

    (Carleton University)

  • Voia Marcel C.

    (Carleton University)


This paper contributes to ongoing debates on international income comparisons by decomposing the income distribution functions for the United States and Canada over the period 1993 - 2000 using finite mixtures. We also conduct tests for equality, first, second and third order stochastic dominance to determine which, if either, country might exhibit greater social welfare, which in our baseline case we model simply as expected utility. Overall, our results suggest that Canada exhibits higher social welfare than U.S., principally because it exhibits lower income inequality, thereby confirming a conjecture by Joseph Stiglitz which was the motivation for our study.

Suggested Citation

  • Dehejia Vivek H. & Voia Marcel C., 2012. "International Income Comparisons and Social Welfare: Methodology, Analysis, and Implications," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:globdv:v:3:y:2012:i:1:n:1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Foster, James E & Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1991. "Subgroup Consistent Poverty Indices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 687-709, May.
    2. Vivek Dehejia, 2008. "Risk Aversion, Stochastic Dominance, and Rules of Thumb: Concept and Application," Carleton Economic Papers 08-01, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    3. Oliver Linton & Esfandiar Maasoumi & Yoon-Jae Whang, 2005. "Consistent Testing for Stochastic Dominance under General Sampling Schemes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 735-765.
    4. Russell Davidson & Jean-Yves Duclos, 2013. "Testing for Restricted Stochastic Dominance," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(1), pages 84-125, January.
    5. Burkhauser, Richard V, et al, 1999. "Testing the Significance of Income Distribution Changes over the 1980s Business Cycle: A Cross-National Comparison," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 253-272, May-June.
    6. Garry F. Barrett & Stephen G. Donald, 2003. "Consistent Tests for Stochastic Dominance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 71-104, January.
    7. Feng Zhu, 2005. "A nonparametric analysis of the shape dynamics of the US personal income distribution: 1962-2000," BIS Working Papers 184, Bank for International Settlements.
    8. Hall, Peter & Yatchew, Adonis, 2005. "Unified approach to testing functional hypotheses in semiparametric contexts," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 127(2), pages 225-252, August.
    9. Anderson, Gordon, 1996. "Nonparametric Tests of Stochastic Dominance in Income Distributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1183-1193, September.
    10. Brian McCaig & Adonis Yatchew, 2007. "International welfare comparisons and nonparametric testing of multivariate stochastic dominance," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(5), pages 951-969.
    11. Russell Davidson & Jean-Yves Duclos, 2000. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1435-1464, November.
    12. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1984. "Inequality Decomposition by Population Subgroups," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1369-1385, November.
    13. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    14. Kaur, Amarjot & Prakasa Rao, B.L.S. & Singh, Harshinder, 1994. "Testing for Second-Order Stochastic Dominance of Two Distributions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(05), pages 849-866, December.
    15. Schmid, Friedrich & Trede, Mark, 1998. "A Kolmogorov-type test for second-order stochastic dominance," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 183-193, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:globdv:v:3:y:2012:i:1:n:1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.