IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bdp/wpaper/2013003.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Dos and Don'ts of Gini Decompositions

Author

Listed:
  • Simon Jurkatis

    () (Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin)

Abstract

This paper critically assesses widely applied methods of Gini decomposition by income sources and population subgroups. We point to common pitfalls in the interpretation of decomposition results and show that marginal efects provide the only meaningful way to examine the relevance of income sources or population subgroups for total income inequality. Moreover, we show that existing methods are unsuitable to decompose the trend in the Gini coeficient, i.e. to examine the role of income sources or population subgroups for the change in the Gini over time. We provide a coherent method to decompose the Gini trend by income sources.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Jurkatis, 2013. "Dos and Don'ts of Gini Decompositions," Working Papers 2013003, Berlin Doctoral Program in Economics and Management Science (BDPEMS).
  • Handle: RePEc:bdp:wpaper:2013003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://repec.bdpems.de/repec/bdp/wpaper/pdf/WP_2013-03_Dos_and_Donts_of_Gini_Decompositions.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cowell, F.A., 2000. "Measurement of inequality," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 87-166, Elsevier.
    2. Paul, Satya, 2004. "Income sources effects on inequality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 435-451, February.
    3. Fields, Gary S, 1979. "Income Inequality in Urban Colombia: A Decomposition Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 25(3), pages 327-341, September.
    4. Podder, Nripesh & Chatterjee, Srikanta, 2002. "Sharing the national cake in post reform New Zealand: income inequality trends in terms of income sources," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 1-27, October.
    5. Kimhi, Ayal, 2011. "Comment: On the Interpretation (and Misinterpretation) of Inequality Decompositions by Income Sources," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1888-1890.
    6. Silber, Jacques, 1989. "Factor Components, Population Subgroups and the Computation of the Gini Index of Inequality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 107-115, February.
    7. Jonathan Morduch & Terry Sicular, 2002. "Rethinking Inequality Decomposition, With Evidence from Rural China," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 93-106, January.
    8. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1984. "Inequality Decomposition by Population Subgroups," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1369-1385, November.
    9. Nripesh Podder, 1993. "The Disaggregation Of The Gin1 Coefficient By Factor Components And Its Applications To Australia," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(1), pages 51-61, March.
    10. Mookherjee, Dilip & Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1982. "A Decomposition Analysis of the Trend in UK Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 886-902, December.
    11. Achdut, Lea, 1996. "Income Inequality, Income Composition and Macroeconomic Trends: Israel, 1979-93," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 1-27, Suppl..
    12. Lambert, Peter J & Aronson, J Richard, 1993. "Inequality Decomposition Analysis and the Gini Coefficient Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1221-1227, September.
    13. Yitzhaki, Shlomo & Lerman, Robert I, 1991. "Income Stratification and Income Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(3), pages 313-329, September.
    14. Srikanta Chatterjee & Nripesh Podder, 2007. "Some Ethnic Dimensions of Income Distribution from Pre‐ to Post‐reform New Zealand, 1984–1998," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(262), pages 275-286, September.
    15. Lerman, Robert I & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1985. "Income Inequality Effects by Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 151-156, February.
    16. Pyatt, Graham, 1976. "On the Interpretation and Disaggregation of Gini Coefficients," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(342), pages 243-255, June.
    17. Davis, Benjamin & Winters, Paul & Carletto, Gero & Covarrubias, Katia & Quiñones, Esteban J. & Zezza, Alberto & Stamoulis, Kostas & Azzarri, Carlo & DiGiuseppe, Stefania, 2010. "A Cross-Country Comparison of Rural Income Generating Activities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 48-63, January.
    18. Graham Pyatt & Chau-nan Chen & John Fei, 1980. "The Distribution of Income by Factor Components," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 451-473.
    19. Cowell, Frank A, 1988. "Inequality Decomposition: Three Bad Measures," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 309-312, October.
    20. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Nolan, Matt, 2018. "Did tax-transfer policy change New Zealand disposable income inequality between 1988 and 2013?," Working Paper Series 7661, Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance.
    2. Neves Costa, Rita & Pérez-Duarte, Sébastien, 2019. "Not all inequality measures were created equal - The measurement of wealth inequality, its decompositions, and an application to European household wealth," Statistics Paper Series 31, European Central Bank.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jurkatis, Simon & Strehl, Wolfgang, 2014. "Gini decompositions and Gini elasticities: On measuring the importance of income sources and population subgroups for income inequality," Discussion Papers 2014/22, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    2. Stéphane Mussard & Michel Terraza, 2009. "Décompositions des mesures d'inégalité : le cas des coefficients de Gini et d'entropie," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 75(2), pages 151-181.
    3. Stéphane Mussard & Françoise Seyte & Michel Terraza, 2006. "La décomposition de l’indicateur de Gini en sous-groupes : une revue de la littérature," Cahiers de recherche 06-11, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    4. Kimhi, Ayal, 2011. "Comment: On the Interpretation (and Misinterpretation) of Inequality Decompositions by Income Sources," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1888-1890.
    5. St鰨ane Mussard & Patrick Richard, 2012. "Linking Yitzhaki's and Dagum's Gini decompositions," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(23), pages 2997-3010, August.
    6. Michele Giammatteo, 2007. "The bidimensional decomposition of inequality: A nested Theil approach," LIS Working papers 466, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    7. Stéphane Mussard, 2006. "La décomposition des mesures d’inégalité en sources de revenu : l’indice de Gini et les généralisations," Cahiers de recherche 06-05, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    8. Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Elsa Orgiazzi, 2013. "Factor Components of Inequality: A Cross-Country Study," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59(4), pages 689-727, December.
    9. Stéphane Mussard, 2005. "On Decomposition of the Gini Index of Equality," Cahiers de recherche 05-09, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    10. Kimhi, Ayal, 2009. "Land Reform and Farm-Household Income Inequality: The Case of Georgia," Discussion Papers 54159, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
    11. Branko Milanovic, 2002. "True World Income Distribution, 1988 and 1993: First Calculation Based on Household Surveys Alone," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 51-92, January.
    12. Abdelkrim Araar, 2006. "On the Decomposition of the Gini Coefficient: an Exact Approach, with an Illustration Using Cameroonian Data," Cahiers de recherche 0602, CIRPEE.
    13. Magne Mogstad, 2007. "Measuring Income Inequality under Restricted Interpersonal Comparability," Discussion Papers 498, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    14. St鰨ane Mussard & Luc Savard, 2012. "The Gini multi-decomposition and the role of Gini's transvariation: application to partial trade liberalization in the Philippines," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(10), pages 1235-1249, April.
    15. I. Josa & A. Aguado, 2020. "Measuring Unidimensional Inequality: Practical Framework for the Choice of an Appropriate Measure," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 149(2), pages 541-570, June.
    16. Peter Lindner, 2015. "Factor decomposition of the wealth distribution in the euro area," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 291-322, May.
    17. Frank Cowell & Carlo Fiorio, 2011. "Inequality decompositions—a reconciliation," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(4), pages 509-528, December.
    18. Sebastian Leitner, 2015. "Drivers of wealth inequality in euro area countries," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 137, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    19. Rolf Aaberge & Steinar Bjerve & Kjell Doksum, 2005. "Decomposition of rank-dependent measures of inequality by subgroups," Metron - International Journal of Statistics, Dipartimento di Statistica, Probabilità e Statistiche Applicate - University of Rome, vol. 0(3), pages 493-503.
    20. Francisco Azpitarte, 2010. "The household wealth distribution in Spain: The role of housing and financial wealth," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 194(3), pages 65-90, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income inequality; Gini decomposition; Income sources; Population subgroups; Inequality trend;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bdp:wpaper:2013003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jenny Schmiedel) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Jenny Schmiedel to update the entry or send us the correct email address. General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/bdpemde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.