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Household Equivalence Scales and Interpersonal Comparisons

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  • Franklin M. Fisher

Abstract

Recent papers have used household equivalence scales to construct measures of welfare inequality. This procedure rests on an often implicit value judgement, namely, that if, after adjustment for demographic characteristics, two households are on the same indifference curve, they are equally well off. That value judgement is not compelling, and there are situations in which it is ethically repugnant. This is particularly likely if tastes are functions of past experience and income.

Suggested Citation

  • Franklin M. Fisher, 1987. "Household Equivalence Scales and Interpersonal Comparisons," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 519-524.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:54:y:1987:i:3:p:519-524.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/2297573
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Mann, 2007. "Comparing Interpersonal Comparisons in Utility Theory and Happiness Research," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 29-42, April.
    2. Ahlheim, Michael & Schneider, Friedrich, 2013. "Considering household size in contingent valuation studies," MPRA Paper 62898, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Bourguignon, François, 1993. "Individus, familles et bien-être social," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 69(4), pages 243-258, décembre.
    4. Lambert, Peter J & Ramos, Xavier, 2002. "Welfare Comparisons: Sequential Procedures for Heterogeneous Populations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(276), pages 549-562, November.
    5. Palme, Marten, 1996. "Income distribution effects of the Swedish 1991 tax reform: An analysis of a microsimulation using generalized Kakwani decomposition," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 419-443, August.
    6. repec:spr:qualqt:v:51:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11135-016-0325-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Paolo Liberati, 2001. "The Distributional Effects of Indirect Tax Changes in Italy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(1), pages 27-51, January.
    8. Frank A Cowell & Magda Mercader-Prats, 1997. "Equivalence of Scales and Inequality (published in Income Inequality Measurement:From Theory to Practice, J Silber (ed), Dewenter: Kluver (1999)," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 27, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    9. Cowell, Frank & Mercader-Prats, Magda, 1999. "Equivalence scales and inequality," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2190, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Sourushe Zandvakili, 2008. "Advances in Inequality Measurement and Usefulness of Statistical Inference," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 37(2), pages 135-145, August.
    11. Ravallion, Martin, 2015. "On testing the scale sensitivity of poverty measures," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 88-90.
    12. Jones, Andrew & O'Donnell, Owen, 1995. "Equivalence scales and the costs of disability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 273-289, February.
    13. Arsenio M. Balisacan, 1992. "Equivalence Scale and Poverty Assessment in a Poor Country," UP School of Economics Discussion Papers 199204, University of the Philippines School of Economics.
    14. G. C. Lim & Sarantis Tsiaplias, 2015. "Financial Stress Thresholds and Household Equivalence Scales," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2015n05, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    15. Majumder, Amita & Chakrabarty, Manisha, 2003. "Relative cost of children: the case of rural Maharashtra, India," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 61-76, January.
    16. Sourushe Zandvakili, 2008. "Advances in Inequality Measurement and Usefulness of Statistical Inference," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 135-145, January.
    17. Yadira Diaz, 2015. "Differences in needs and multidimensional deprivation measurement," Working Papers 387, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.

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