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On the measurement of polarisation: a questionnaire study

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  • Amiel, Yoram
  • Cowell, Frank

Abstract

Starting from the axiomatisation of polarisation contained in Esteban and Ray (1994) and Chakravarty and Majumdar (2001) we investigate whether people's perceptions of income polarisation is consistent with the key axioms. This is carried out using a questionnaire-experimental approach that combines both paper questionnaires and on-line interactive techniques. The responses suggest that important axioms which serve to differentiate polarisation from inequality - e.g. increased bipolarisation - as well as other distinctive features of polarisation, i.e. the non-monotonous behaviour attributed to polarisation, are not widely accepted.

Suggested Citation

  • Amiel, Yoram & Cowell, Frank, 2007. "On the measurement of polarisation: a questionnaire study," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2693, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:2693
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/2693/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joan Esteban & Carlos Gradin & Debraj Ray, 1999. "Extensions of a Measure of Polarization with an Application to the Income Distribution of Five OECD Countries," LIS Working papers 218, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    2. Amiel,Yoram & Cowell,Frank, 1999. "Thinking about Inequality," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521466967, April.
    3. Wang, You-Qiang & Tsui, Kai-Yuen, 2000. " Polarization Orderings and New Classes of Polarization Indices," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(3), pages 349-363.
    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. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    6. Amiel, Yoram & Cowell, Frank A., 1992. "Measurement of income inequality : Experimental test by questionnaire," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-26, February.
    7. Juan G. Rodríguez & Rafael Salas, "undated". "Extended Bi-Polarization And Inequality Measures," Working Papers 10-03 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
    8. Wolfson, Michael C, 1997. "Divergent Inequalities: Theory and Empirical Results," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(4), pages 401-421, December.
    9. Chakravarty, Satya R & Majumder, Amita, 2001. "Inequality, Polarisation and Welfare: Theory and Applications," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, March.
    10. Joan Esteban & Carlos Gradín & Debraj Ray, 2007. "An Extension of a Measure of Polarization, with an application to the income distribution of five OECD countries," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bleichrodt, Han & Rohde, Kirsten I.M. & Van Ourti, Tom, 2012. "An experimental test of the concentration index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 86-98.
    2. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2010. "Is There Room For Polarization?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(1), pages 7-22, March.
    3. Lucio Esposito & Francesca Majorano, 2011. "What principles should inform poverty indices? Insights from a cross-country survey," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 387-420, October.
    4. Satya R. Chakravarty & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2010. "Polarization Orderings Of Income Distributions," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(1), pages 47-64, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Polarisation; income distribution; inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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