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

Listed author(s):
  • 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.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal of Globalization and Development.

Volume (Year): 3 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 1-24

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:globdv:v:3:y:2012:i:1:n:1
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  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, 2006. "Testing for Restricted Stochastic Dominance," Cahiers de recherche 0609, CIRPEE.
  5. 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.
  6. Davidson, Russell & Duclos, Jean-Yves, 1998. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," Cahiers de recherche 9805, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  7. 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.
  8. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1984. "Inequality Decomposition by Population Subgroups," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1369-1385, November.
  9. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  10. Garry F. Barrett & Stephen G. Donald, 2003. "Consistent Tests for Stochastic Dominance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 71-104, January.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Anderson, Gordon, 1996. "Nonparametric Tests of Stochastic Dominance in Income Distributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1183-1193, 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.
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