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Edgeworth expansions and normalizing transforms for inequality measures


  • Schluter, Christian
  • van Garderen, Kees Jan


Finite sample distributions of studentized inequality measures differ substantially from their asymptotic normal distribution in terms of location and skewness. We study these aspects formally by deriving the second-order expansion of the first and third cumulant of the studentized inequality measure. We state distribution-free expressions for the bias and skewness coefficients. In the second part we improve over first-order theory by deriving Edgeworth expansions and normalizing transforms. These normalizing transforms are designed to eliminate the second-order term in the distributional expansion of the studentized transform and converge to the Gaussian limit at rate O(n-1). This leads to improved confidence intervals and applying a subsequent bootstrap leads to a further improvement to order O(n-3/2). We illustrate our procedure with an application to regional inequality measurement in Côte d'Ivoire.

Suggested Citation

  • Schluter, Christian & van Garderen, Kees Jan, 2009. "Edgeworth expansions and normalizing transforms for inequality measures," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 150(1), pages 16-29, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:150:y:2009:i:1:p:16-29

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Abul Naga, Ramses H. & Shen, Yajie & Yoo, Hong Il, 2016. "Joint hypothesis tests for multidimensional inequality indices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 138-142.
    2. Frank Cowell & Emmanuel Flachaire & Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, 2013. "Reference distributions and inequality measurement," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(4), pages 421-437, December.
    3. Frank A. Cowell & Philippe Kerm, 2015. "Wealth Inequality: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 671-710, September.


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