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Equivalence Scales and Subjective Data in Switzerland

Listed author(s):
  • Jean-Marc Falter

The estimation of equivalence scales is an important aspect of any poverty or inequality analysis. Most of the research and policy recommendations rely on so called expert scales. Some of them are used in many countries, like the OECD scale. In Switzerland, recommendations of the CSIAS, the main body in charge of social norms, are followed by academics as well as practitioners. Yet, the use of such equivalence scales should be validated by statistical results on the cost of children. To the author knowledge, all avalaible studies on equivalence scales in Switzerland are based on demand behavior, a method with its own merits and shortcomings. We claim that subjective estimators may overcome the difficulties implied by traditional estimation of equivalence scales. Our results seem to indicate that the expert scales are too steep. However, our results are driven by the choice of the research instrument.

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Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 142 (2006)
Issue (Month): II (June)
Pages: 263-284

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Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2006-ii-4
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  1. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Charlier, Erwin, 2002. "Equivalence Scales in an Intertemporal Setting with an Application to the Former West Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(1), pages 99-126, March.
  3. Bernard M.S. van Praag & Paul Frijters, 1999. "The measurement of welfare and well-being; the Leyden approach," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 071a, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  4. Pollak, R.A., 1990. "Welfare Comparisons And Situations Comparisons," Working Papers 90-11, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  5. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard Van Praag, 2003. "Income Satisfaction Inequality and its Causes," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 1(2), pages 107-127, August.
  6. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard M.S. Van Praag, 2002. "Income Satisfaction Inequality and its Causes," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-014/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1993. "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 10018, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  8. Johannes Schwarze, 2003. "Using Panel Data on Income Satisfaction to Estimate Equivalence Scale Elasticity," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(3), pages 359-372, 09.
  9. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & van Praag, Bernard M. S., 2001. "Poverty in the Russian Federation," IZA Discussion Papers 259, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-142, June.
  11. Van Praag, Bernard, 1971. "The welfare function of income in Belgium: An empirical investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 337-369.
  12. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2002. "Self-rated economic welfare in Russia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1453-1473, September.
  13. repec:uwp:jhriss:v:12:y:1977:i:4:p:503-520 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Pollak, Robert A & Wales, Terence J, 1979. "Welfare Comparisons and Equivalence Scales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 216-221, May.
  15. Robert E. Leu & Stefan Burri, 1999. "Poverty in Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 135(III), pages 303-328, September.
  16. Van Praag, Bernard M.S. & Warnaar, Marcel F., 1993. "The cost of children and the use of demographic variables in consumer demand," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 241-273 Elsevier.
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