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Nonparametric estimation and inference about the overlap of two distributions

  • Anderson, Gordon
  • Linton, Oliver
  • Whang, Yoon-Jae

This paper develops methodology for nonparametric estimation of a measure of the overlap of two distributions based on kernel estimation techniques. This quantity has been proposed as a measure of economic polarization between two groups, Anderson (2004) and Anderson et al. (2010). In ecology it has been used to measure the overlap of species. We give the asymptotic distribution theory of our estimator, which in some cases of practical relevance is nonstandard due to a boundary value problem. We also propose a method for conducting inference based on estimation of unknown quantities in the limiting distribution and show that our method yields consistent inference in all cases we consider. We investigate the finite sample properties of our methods by simulation methods. We give an application to the study of polarization within China in recent years using household survey data from two provinces taken in 1987 and 2001. We find a big increase in polarization between 1987 and 2001 according to monetary outcomes but less change in terms of living space.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 171 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-23

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:171:y:2012:i:1:p:1-23
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

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  1. Esteban, J.M. & Ray, D., 1992. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 171.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Chen, Song Xi, 1999. "Beta kernel estimators for density functions," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 131-145, August.
  3. 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.
  4. Oliver Linton & Esfandiar Maasoumi & Yoon-Jae Whang, 2003. "Consistent testing for stochastic dominance under general sampling schemes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2208, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Holmström, Lasse & Klemelä, Jussi, 1992. "Asymptotic bounds for the expected L1 error of a multivariate kernel density estimator," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 245-266, August.
  6. Donald W. K. Andrews & Patrik Guggenberger, 2009. "Hybrid and Size-Corrected Subsampling Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 721-762, 05.
  7. Victor Chernozhukov & Han Hong & Elie Tamer, 2007. "Estimation and Confidence Regions for Parameter Sets in Econometric Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1243-1284, 09.
  8. Donald W. K. Andrews, 1999. "Estimation When a Parameter Is on a Boundary," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1341-1384, November.
  9. Gordon Anderson, 2010. "Polarization Of The Poor: Multivariate Relative Poverty Measurement Sans Frontiers," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(1), pages 84-101, 03.
  10. Imbens, Guido W & Rubin, Donald B, 1997. "Estimating Outcome Distributions for Compliers in Instrumental Variables Models," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 555-74, October.
  11. Schmid, Friedrich & Schmidt, Axel, 2006. "Nonparametric estimation of the coefficient of overlapping--theory and empirical application," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1583-1596, March.
  12. Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2003. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Working Papers 46, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  13. Anderson, Gordon & Ge, Ying, 2005. "The size distribution of Chinese cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 756-776, November.
  14. Gordon Anderson & Ying Ge, 2009. "Intercity Income Inequality Growth and Convergence in China," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 18(1), pages 70-89, March.
  15. Anderson, Gordon, 2004. "Toward an empirical analysis of polarization," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 1-26, September.
  16. Clemons, Traci E. & Jr., Edwin L. Bradley, 2000. "A nonparametric measure of the overlapping coefficient," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 51-61, July.
  17. Gordon Anderson & Ying Ge & Teng Wah Leo, 2010. "Distributional Overlap: Simple, Multivariate, Parametric, and Nonparametric Tests for Alienation, Convergence, and General Distributional Difference Issues," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(3), pages 247-275.
  18. Hardle, W. & Park, B. U. & Tsybakov, A. B., 1995. "Estimation of Non-sharp Support Boundaries," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 205-218, November.
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