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Bi-polarization comparisons

  • Duclos, Jean-Yves
  • Echevin, Damien

This note provides simple tests for first-order bi-polarization orderings of distributions of living standards. In doing so, the paper also offers an ethical basis and an interpretation for the common use of some simple measures of distances from the median. Illustrations using Luxembourg Income Study data show that several countries can be ranked by such tests of bi-polarization.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 87 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 249-258

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:87:y:2005:i:2:p:249-258
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  1. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-58, May.
  2. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-51, July.
  3. X. Zhang & R. Kanbur, 2001. "What Difference Do Polarisation Measures Make? An Application to China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 85-98.
  4. Joe C. Davis & John H. Huston, 1992. "The Shrinking Middle-Income Class: A Multivariate Analysis," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 277-285, Summer.
  5. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  6. James Foster & Michael Wolfson, 2010. "Polarization and the decline of the middle class: Canada and the U.S," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(2), pages 247-273, June.
  7. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 2003. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Cahiers de recherche 0301, CIRPEE.
  8. Wang, You-Qiang & Tsui, Kai-Yuen, 2000. " Polarization Orderings and New Classes of Polarization Indices," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(3), pages 349-63.
  9. Chakravarty, Satya R & Majumder, Amita, 2001. "Inequality, Polarisation and Welfare: Theory and Applications," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, March.
  10. Jenkins, Stephen P., 1995. "Did the middle class shrink during the 1980s? UK evidence from kernel density estimates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 407-413, October.
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