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Theil, Inequality and the Structure of Income Distribution


  • Frank A Cowell


This paper documents the impact of Argentina's recent economic crises on different aspects of poverty, with a special focus on the economic collapse of 2002. We discuss the methodology of poverty measurement in Argentina and we use a simple rule to compensate for the lack of regional poverty figures until 2001, providing consistent series of urban poverty estimates at the national and regional levels. We then present series of short term dynamics of poverty, decomposing the changes in every period of time with panel data. Finally, we analyse the determinants of poverty, with a focus on accounting for observed differences in income (and thereby poverty) between October 2001 and May 2002. Among other conclusions, we find in our decomposition analysis that households without the means to diversify their income sources suffered more than others from the crisis of 2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank A Cowell, 2003. "Theil, Inequality and the Structure of Income Distribution," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 67, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stidar:67

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cowell, Frank A. & Kuga, Kiyoshi, 1981. "Additivity and the entropy concept: An axiomatic approach to inequality measurement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 131-143, August.
    2. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-625, April.
    3. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1973. "Some further results on the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 188-204, April.
    4. Bossert, Walter & Pfingsten, Andreas, 1990. "Intermediate inequality: concepts, indices, and welfare implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 117-134, April.
    5. Frank A. Cowell, 1980. "On the Structure of Additive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(3), pages 521-531.
    6. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. II," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 82-111, August.
    7. 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.
    8. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434-434.
    9. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. I," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 416-442, June.
    10. Cowell, Frank A., 1980. "Generalized entropy and the measurement of distributional change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 147-159, January.
    11. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1984. "Inequality Decomposition by Population Subgroups," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1369-1385, November.
    12. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309-309.
    13. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-920, July.
    14. Cowell, Frank, 2006. "Inequality: measurement," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2686, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931, June.
    16. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    17. James E. Foster & Artyom A. Shneyerov, 1999. "A general class of additively decomposable inequality measures," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 14(1), pages 89-111.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gine, Xavier, 2005. "Cultivate or rent out ? Land security in rural Thailand," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3734, The World Bank.
    2. Aoki, Shuhei, 2008. "Aggregate Productivity Loss and the Theil Index of Inequality," MPRA Paper 7407, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:gam:jecnmx:v:6:y:2018:i:1:p:4-:d:128699 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Theil; inequality; independence; homotheticity; translatability.;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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