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Sensitivity of Inequality Measures to Extreme Values

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  • Frank A Cowell
  • Emmanuel Flachaire

Abstract

We examine the sensitivity of estimates and inequality indices to extreme values, in the sense of their robustness properties and of their statistical performance. We establish that these measures are very sensitive to the properties of the income distribution. Estimation and inference can be dramatically affected, especially when the tail of the income distribution is heavy.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank A Cowell & Emmanuel Flachaire, 2002. "Sensitivity of Inequality Measures to Extreme Values," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 60, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stidar:60
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    File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/darp/darp60.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Davidson, Russell & Flachaire, Emmanuel, 2007. "Asymptotic and bootstrap inference for inequality and poverty measures," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 141-166, November.
    2. Tae-Hwan Kim & Christophe Muller, 2004. "Two-stage quantile regression when the first stage is based on quantile regression," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 7(1), pages 218-231, June.
    3. Hang K. Ryu & Daniel J. Slottje & Michael McAleer, 2017. "A New Inequality Measure that is Sensitive to Extreme Values and Asymmetries," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 2017-25, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    4. Frank A Cowell & Carlo V. Fiorio, 2006. "Rethinking Inequality Decomposition:Comment," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 82, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    5. Stefan Traub & Christian Seidl & Ulrich Schmidt & Maria Levati, 2005. "Friedman, Harsanyi, Rawls, Boulding – or somebody else? An experimental investigation of distributive justice," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(2), pages 283-309, April.
    6. Traub, Stefan & Seidl, Christian & Schmidt, Ulrich & Levati, Maria Vittoria, 2003. "Friedman, Harsanyi, Rawls, Boulding - or Somebody Else?," Economics Working Papers 2003-03, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality measures; statistical performance; robustness.;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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