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A note on the Statistical Significance of Changes in Inequality


  • Walter Sosa Escudero

    (Universidad Nacional de La Plata)

  • Leonardo Gasparini

    (Universidad Nacional de La Plata)


This note illustrates how modern computer intensive tools like the bootstrap provide a simple and efficient way to compute interval estimates and standard errors for inequality measures. Additionally, the same methodology is used to implement a formal test of the null hypothesis of no changes in income inequality between two periods. Results are applied to the case of Argentina, where inequality varied substantially in the last decade, making crucial the issue of distinguishing sampling variability from true changes in the distribution of income. Our results show that the problem is not minor, since the observed changes un the Gini coefficients for several regions in Argentina are not statistically significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Walter Sosa Escudero & Leonardo Gasparini, 2000. "A note on the Statistical Significance of Changes in Inequality," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 0(1), pages 111-122, January-J.
  • Handle: RePEc:lap:journl:511

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    Cited by:

    1. Mariana Marchionni & Leonardo Gasparini, 2007. "Tracing out the effects of demographic changes on the income distribution," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 5(1), pages 97-114, April.
    2. Viollaz, Mariana & Olivieri, Sergio & Alejo, Javier, 2009. "Labor income polarization in greater Buenos Aires," MPRA Paper 42944, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Hernán Winkler, 2005. "Monitoring the Socio-Economic Conditions in Uruguay," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0026, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    4. Gambetta, Renzo, 2009. "A Note of Growth and Inequality in Peru, 2003-2008," MPRA Paper 16986, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.
    5. Leonardo Gasparini, 2006. "Assessing benefit-incidence results using decompositions. The case of health policy in Argentina," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(40), pages 1-10.
    6. Walter Sosa Escudero & Sergio Petralia, 2010. "“I Can Hear the Grass Grow”: The Anatomy of Distributive Changes in Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0106, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    7. Steven Prus, 2007. "Age, SES, and Health: A Population Level Analysis of Health Inequalities over the Life Course," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 181, McMaster University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • C4 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics


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