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Gini Indices and the Redistribution of Income

  • Jean-Yves Duclos

Just as the Gini inequality index captures people's relative deprivation (Yitzhaki, 1979), so, we show in this paper, Gini-based progressivity and horizontal inequity indices capture individual perceptions of relative fiscal harshness and ill-fortune. In fact, we find that these links between individualistic perceptions and the measurement of the distribution and redistribution of income generalise to the family of indices based on the extended Ginis of Donaldson and Weymark (1980) and Yitzhaki (1983). Through ''leaky bucket'' experiments, we also suggest how we can parameterise the inequality aversion present in these indices. Analysis of the Canadian gross and net income distributions (conducted using recently developed statistical inference procedures) shows the distribution and the aggregation of these individual indicators of relative deprivation, fiscal harshness and ill-fortune in 1981 and in 1990. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 7 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 141-162

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:7:y:2000:i:2:p:141-162
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  3. Russell Davidson & Jean-Yves Duclos, 1997. "Statistical Inference for the Measurement of the Incidence of Taxes and Transfers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1453-1466, November.
  4. Aronson, J Richard & Johnson, Paul & Lambert, Peter J, 1994. "Redistributive Effects and Unequal Income Tax Treatment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 262-70, March.
  5. Hey, John D & Lambert, Peter J, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 567-73, November.
  6. Kaplow, Louis, 1989. "Horizontal Equity: Measures in Search of a Principle," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 42(2), pages 139-54, June.
  7. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  8. Creedy, John, 1996. "Comparing Tax and Transfer Systems: Poverty, Inequality and Target Efficiency," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages S163-74, Suppl..
  9. Duclos, J.Y., 1995. "Relative Performance, Relative Deprivation and Generalised Gini Indices of Inequality and Horizontal Inequity," Papers 9514, Laval - Recherche en Politique Economique.
  10. Garry F. Barrett & Krishna Pendakur, 1995. "The Asymptotic Distribution of the Generalized Gini Indices of Inequality," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4b), pages 1042-55, November.
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  12. Duclos, Jean-Yves, 1993. "Progressivity, Redistribution, and Equity, with Application to the British Tax and Benefit System," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 48(3), pages 350-65.
  13. Duclos, Jean-Yves, 1997. "The asymptotic distribution of linear indices of inequality, progressivity and redistribution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 51-57, January.
  14. Feldstein, Martin, 1976. "On the theory of tax reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 77-104.
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  16. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-24, May.
  17. Blackburn, McKinley L., 1989. "Interpreting the magnitude of changes in measures of income inequality," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 21-25, September.
  18. Louis Kaplow, 1985. "Horizontal Equity: Measures in Search of a Principle," NBER Working Papers 1679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Paul, Satya, 1991. "An index of relative deprivation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 337-341.
  20. Kakwani, Nanok C, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 71-80, March.
  21. Pfahler, Wilhelm, 1987. "Redistributive Effects of Tax Progressivity: Evaluating a General Class of Aggregate Measures," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 42(1), pages 1-31.
  22. Kakwani, Nanak, 1980. "On a Class of Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 437-46, March.
  23. Berrebi, Z M & Silber, Jacques, 1985. "Income Inequality Indices and Deprivation: A Generalization [Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient]," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 807-10, August.
  24. Muliere, Pietro & Scarsini, Marco, 1989. "A note on stochastic dominance and inequality measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 314-323, December.
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