IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Equivalence scales based on Subjective Income Evaluation: Are children really cheap?



    (Center for Social Policy, University of Antwerp (UFSIA))


Answers of sample survey respondents to questions like the following one: "In the circumstances of your household, what income would you regard as the minimum (or good/bad/sufficient, etc.) for your household?" can be used to estimate equivalence scales. It is sometimes claimed that this is a simple and cheap method to obtain "true" equivalence scales. Typically, these scales are much flatter than those derived from consumption behaviour data, or those incorporated in official poverty lines. A number of possible reasons have been advanced for this result. Yet, using subjective data does not necessarily result in a flat equivalence scale. Equivalence scales can also be estimated from answers to direct survey questions on how satisfied the respondent is with his or her household income, and these scales are often quite steep. In this paper, an application of both methods is reported. A number of possible reasons for the discrepancy are explored. In particular, the effects of a wide range of exogenous variables are examined. Data are from the 1985 and 1988 waves of the Belgian Socio-Economic Panel, a house-hold income survey. The conclusion is that the discrepancy between the equivalence scales persists, even when controlling for a large number of possibly intervening factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Karel VAN DEN BOSCH, 1996. "Equivalence scales based on Subjective Income Evaluation: Are children really cheap?," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1996025, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:1996025

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


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

    Cited by:

    1. François Gardes & Christophe Starzec, 2004. "La question de l'identification des échelles d'équivalence : une estimation du coût de l'enfant sur des données de panel," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques b04045, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty


    Access and download statistics


    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:ctl:louvre:1996025. 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: (Sebastien SCHILLINGS). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.