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Poverty and Welfare Measurement on the Basis of Prospect Theory

  • Markus Jäntti
  • Ravi Kanbur
  • Milla Nyyssölä
  • Jukka Pirttilä

This paper examines the measurement of social welfare, poverty and inequality taking into account reference-dependence, loss aversion and diminishing sensitivity—aspects emphasized in Prospect Theory—to social welfare measurement. We suggest a new notion of equivalent income, the income level with which the individual would be as well off, evaluated using a standard utility function, as he/she actually is, evaluated with a reference-dependent utility function. We examine the differences between standard poverty and inequality measures based on observed income and measures that are calculated based on equivalent income. These differences are illustrated using household-level panel data from Russia and Vietnam.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4095.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4095
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  1. J.ntti, Markus & Kanbur, Ravi & Nyyss.l., Milla & Pirttil., Jukka, 2012. "Poverty and Welfare Measurement on the Basis of Prospect Theory," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  2. Stefano Bartolini & Ennio Bilancini & Francesco Sarracino, 2011. "Predicting the Trend of Well-Being in Germany: How Much Do Comparisons, Adaptation and Sociability Matter?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 414, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2002. "Self-rated economic welfare in Russia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1453-1473, September.
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  5. Delavande, Adeline & Gine, Xavier & McKenzie, David, 2009. "Measuring Subjective Expectations in Developing Countries: A Critical Review and New Evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4824, The World Bank.
  6. Booij, Adam S. & van Praag, Bernard M. S. & van de Kuilen, Gijs, 2009. "A Parametric Analysis of Prospect Theory's Functionals for the General Population," IZA Discussion Papers 4117, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Kanbur Ravi, 2001. "Economic Policy, Distribution and Poverty: The Nature of Disagreements," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-26, April.
  8. Channing Arndt & Andres Garcia & Finn Tarp & James Thurlow, 2010. "Poverty Reduction and Economic Structure Comparative Path Analysis for Mozambique and Vietnam," Working Paper Series wp2010-122, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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  15. Bossert, Walter & D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2013. "Measuring Economic Insecurity," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  16. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2005. "Who cares about relative deprivation ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3782, The World Bank.
  17. Shorrocks, Anthony, 1978. "Income inequality and income mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 376-393, December.
  18. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Klara Sabirianova Peter & Dmitriy Stolyarov, 2010. "Inequality and Volatility Moderation in Russia: Evidence from Micro-Level Panel Data on Consumption and Income," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 209-237, January.
  19. Bernard Praag, 2011. "Well-being inequality and reference groups: an agenda for new research," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 111-127, March.
  20. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  21. Cesar Calvo & Stefan Dercon, 2005. "Measuring Individual Vulnerability," Economics Series Working Papers 229, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  22. Engström, Per & Nordblom, Katarina & Ohlsson, Henry & Persson, Annika, 2011. "Loss evasion and tax aversion," Working Paper Series 2011:17, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  23. Graham, Carol & Eggers, Andrew & Sukhtankar, Sandip, 2004. "Does happiness pay?: An exploration based on panel data from Russia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 319-342, November.
  24. James Foster & Indranil Dutta & Ajit Mishra, 2010. "On Measuring Vulnerability to Poverty," Working Papers 2010-13, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  25. Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165, November.
  26. Richard Layard & Guy Mayraz & Stephen Nickell, 2009. "Does Relative Income Matter? Are the Critics Right?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0918, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  27. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  28. Senik, Claudia, 2004. "When information dominates comparison: Learning from Russian subjective panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2099-2123, August.
  29. Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931.
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  32. Gaiha, Raghav & Imai, Katsushi, 2008. "Measuring Vulnerability and Poverty: Estimates for Rural India," Working Paper Series RP2008/40, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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