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Measuring resource inequalities: The concepts and methodology for an area-based Gini coefficient

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  • Druckman, A.
  • Jackson, T.

Abstract

Although inequalities in income and expenditure are relatively well researched, comparatively little attention has been paid, to date, to inequalities in resource use. This is clearly a shortcoming when it comes to developing informed policies for sustainable consumption and social justice. This paper describes an indicator of inequality in resource use called the AR-Gini. The AR-Gini is an area-based measure of resource inequality that estimates inequalities between neighbourhoods with regard to the consumption of specific consumer goods. It is also capable of estimating inequalities in the emissions resulting from resource use, such as carbon dioxide emissions from energy use, and solid waste arisings from material resource use. The indicator is designed to be used as a basis for broadening the discussion concerning 'food deserts' to inequalities in other types of resource use. By estimating the AR-Gini for a wide range of goods and services we aim to enhance our understanding of resource inequalities and their drivers, identify which resources have highest inequalities, and to explore trends in inequalities. The paper describes the concepts underlying the construction of the AR-Gini and its methodology. Its use is illustrated by pilot applications (specifically, men's and boys' clothing, carpets, refrigerators/freezers and clothes washer/driers). The results illustrate that different levels of inequality are associated with different commodities. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of some possible policy implications of the AR-Gini.

Suggested Citation

  • Druckman, A. & Jackson, T., 2008. "Measuring resource inequalities: The concepts and methodology for an area-based Gini coefficient," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 242-252, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:65:y:2008:i:2:p:242-252
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    1. repec:eee:enepol:v:107:y:2017:i:c:p:698-710 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2011. "Conceptualizing urban household energy use: Climbing the "Energy Services Ladder"," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1659-1668, March.
    3. Boyce, James K. & Zwickl, Klara & Ash, Michael, 2016. "Measuring environmental inequality," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 114-123.
    4. Bouvier, Rachel, 2014. "Distribution of income and toxic emissions in Maine, United States: Inequality in two dimensions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 39-47.
    5. Boukary OUEDRAOGO (CEDRES - Université de Ouaga II) & Sylvie FERRARI (GREThA, CNRS, UMR5113), 2012. "Incidence of forest income in reducing poverty and inequalities:\r\nEvidence from forest dependent households in managed forests’ areas in Burkina Faso," Cahiers du GREThA 2012-28, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    6. Wiedenhofer, Dominik & Lenzen, Manfred & Steinberger, Julia K., 2013. "Energy requirements of consumption: Urban form, climatic and socio-economic factors, rebounds and their policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 696-707.
    7. Druckman, Angela & Jackson, Tim, 2009. "The carbon footprint of UK households 1990-2004: A socio-economically disaggregated, quasi-multi-regional input-output model," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2066-2077, May.
    8. Greselin, Francesca & Zitikis, Ricardas, 2015. "Measuring economic inequality and risk: a unifying approach based on personal gambles, societal preferences and references," MPRA Paper 65892, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. repec:gam:jecnmx:v:6:y:2018:i:1:p:4-:d:128699 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. James K. Boyce & Klara Zwickl & Michael Ash, "undated". "Three Measures of Environmental Inequality," Working Papers Series 12, Institute for New Economic Thinking.
    11. Chancel, Lucas, 2014. "Are younger generations higher carbon emitters than their elders?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 195-207.
    12. Saunders, Harry, 2013. "Is what we think of as “rebound” really just income effects in disguise?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 308-317.
    13. Steinberger, Julia K. & Krausmann, Fridolin & Eisenmenger, Nina, 2010. "Global patterns of materials use: A socioeconomic and geophysical analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1148-1158, March.

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