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Reference distributions and inequality measurement

  • Frank Cowell
  • Emmanuel Flachaire

    ()

  • Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay

We investigate a general problem of comparing pairs of distributions which includes approaches to inequality measurement, the evaluation of “unfair” income inequality, evaluation of inequality relative to norm incomes, and goodness of fit. We show how to represent the generic problem simply using (1) a class of divergence measures derived from a parsimonious set of axioms and (2) alternative types of “reference distributions.” The problems of appropriate statistical implementation are discussed and empirical illustrations of the technique are provided using a variety of reference distributions. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10888-012-9238-z
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Article provided by Springer in its journal The Journal of Economic Inequality.

Volume (Year): 11 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 421-437

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:11:y:2013:i:4:p:421-437
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=111137

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  1. Russell Davidson & James G. MacKinnon, 2006. "Improving the Reliability of Bootstrap Tests with the Fast Double Bootstrap," Working Papers 1044, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Cowell, Frank A., 1980. "Generalized entropy and the measurement of distributional change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 147-159, January.
  3. Russell Davidson & Emmanuel Flachaire, 2006. "Asymptotic And Bootstrap Inference For Inequality And Poverty Measures," Departmental Working Papers 2005-06, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  4. Christian Schluter, 2012. "On the problem of inference for inequality measures for heavy‐tailed distributions," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 15(1), pages 125-153, 02.
  5. Magdalou, Brice & Nock, Richard, 2011. "Income distributions and decomposable divergence measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2440-2454.
  6. Paglin, Morton, 1975. "The Measurement and Trend of Inequality: A Basic Revision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 598-609, September.
  7. Frank A. Cowell & Emmanuel Flachaire, 2007. "Income distribution and inequality measurement: The problem of extreme values," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00176029, HAL.
  8. Almås, Ingvild & Cappelen, Alexander W. & Lind, Jo Thori & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2011. "Measuring unfair (in)equality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 488-499.
  9. Frank Cowell & Emmanuel Flachaire & Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, 2009. "Goodness-of-fit: an economic approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25433, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Ebert, Udo, 1984. "Measures of distance between income distributions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 266-274, April.
  11. Russell Davidson, 2012. "Statistical inference in the presence of heavy tails," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 15(1), pages C31-C53, 02.
  12. Wertz, Kenneth L, 1979. "The Measurement of Inequality: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 670-72, September.
  13. Kurt Devooght, 2008. "To Each the Same and to Each his Own: A Proposal to Measure Responsibility-Sensitive Income Inequality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 280-295, 05.
  14. 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.
  15. Jenkins, Stephen P & O'Higgins, Michael, 1989. "Inequality Measurement Using 'Norm Incomes': Were Garvy and Paglin onto Something after All?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 35(3), pages 265-82, September.
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