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Generalised percentile ratios as robust measures of labour earnings inequality


  • Shuaizhang Feng
  • Richard V. Burkhauser


We propose a class of generalised percentile ratios as an alternative to the P90 / P10 ratio for measuring labour earnings inequality. We show that they are more robust to sampling the variation and rounding error prevalent in interview-based surveys, as demonstrated through a Monte Carlo simulation and with Current Population Survey labour earnings data from 1987 to 2005. We find a smoother upward trend in the P90 / P10 ratio over this period than what is shown with conventionally measured P90 / P10 ratios.

Suggested Citation

  • Shuaizhang Feng & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2008. "Generalised percentile ratios as robust measures of labour earnings inequality," International Journal of Data Analysis Techniques and Strategies, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(2), pages 117-125.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:injdan:v:1:y:2008:i:2:p:117-125

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