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Is power more evenly balanced in poor households?

  • Couprie, Hélène
  • Peluso, Eugenio
  • Trannoy, Alain

The structure of intra-household allocation is crucial to know whether a transfer from a rich household to a poor one translates into a transfer from a rich individual to a poor one. If rich households are more unequal than poor ones, then a progressive transfer among households reduces intra-household inequality, hence inequality among individuals. More specifically, two conditions have to be satisfied for extending Generalized Lorenz judgments from household level to individual one. The fraction of the couple's expenditures devoted to goods jointly consumed should decrease at the margin with the couple's income as well as the part of private expenditure devoted to the disadvantaged individual. This double concavity condition is non-parametrically tested on the French Household Expenditure Survey (2000). It is not rejected by the data and supports the view that power is more evenly distributed in poor households.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Pages: 493-507

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:94:y:2010:i:7-8:p:493-507
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