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Understanding inequality trends: microsimulation decomposition for Italy

  • Carlo V. Fiorio

This paper suggests overcoming some limitations of traditional inequality decomposition methods by developing a combination of Burtless (1999) and DiNardo et al. (1996), two different microsimulation methods for decomposing inequality. By using this combination it is possible to take into consideration the dispersion of income sources as well as the socio-demographic evolution of the population under study, in a single framework and across many years. This methodology maximizes clarity of results and allows one to easily perform tests on results. An application to Italian household inequality is provided to analyze marginal and joint effects of demographic trends and changed dispersion of different income factors between 1977 and 2002.

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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 6544.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6544
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  1. Andrea Brandolini, 1999. "The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Data Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 58(2), pages 183-239, September.
  2. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-20, July.
  3. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1984. "Inequality Decomposition by Population Subgroups," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1369-85, November.
  4. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  5. Cowell, Frank A. & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2000. "Estimating welfare indices: household weights and sample design," ISER Working Paper Series 2000-23, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  6. John C. H. Fei & Gustav Ranis & Shirley W. Y. Kuo, 1978. "Growth and the Family Distribution of Income by Factor Components," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(1), pages 17-53.
  7. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "Accounting for Inequality Trends: Decomposition Analyses for the UK, 1971-86," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(245), pages 29-63, February.
  8. Biewen, Martin & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2003. "Estimation of Generalized Entropy and Atkinson inequality indices from survey data," ISER Working Paper Series 2003-11, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  9. Cowell, Frank A., 1989. "Sampling variance and decomposable inequality measures," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 27-41, September.
  10. John DiNardo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1995. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," NBER Working Papers 5093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jonathan Morduch & Terry Sicular, 2002. "Rethinking Inequality Decomposition, With Evidence from Rural China," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 93-106, January.
  12. Giovanni D'Alessio & Luigi Federico Signorini, 2000. "Disuguaglianza dei redditi individuali e ruolo della famiglia in Italia," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 390, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  13. F. Chantreuil & A. Trannoy, 1999. "Inequality decomposition values : the trade-off between marginality and consistency," THEMA Working Papers 99-24, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  14. Mary C. Daly & Robert G. Valletta, 2006. "Inequality and Poverty in United States: The Effects of Rising Dispersion of Men's Earnings and Changing Family Behaviour," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(289), pages 75-98, 02.
  15. Biewen, Martin & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2003. "Estimation of Generalized Entropy and Atkinson Inequality Indices from Complex Survey Data," IZA Discussion Papers 763, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Frank A. Cowell, 1980. "On the Structure of Additive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(3), pages 521-531.
  17. Burtless, Gary, 1999. "Effects of growing wage disparities and changing family composition on the U.S. income distribution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 853-865, April.
  18. Graham Pyatt & Chau-nan Chen & John Fei, 1980. "The Distribution of Income by Factor Components," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 451-473.
  19. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
  20. Christopher Erickson & Andrea Ichino, 1995. "Wage Differentials in Italy: Market Forces, Institutions, and Inflation," NBER Chapters, in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 265-306 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Marco Manacorda, 2004. "Can the Scala Mobile Explain the Fall and Rise of Earnings Inequality in Italy? A Semiparametric Analysis, 19771993," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 585-614, July.
  22. Bourguignon, Francois & Fournier, M & Gurgand, M, 2001. "Fast Development with a Stable Income Distribution: Taiwan, 1979-94," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(2), pages 139-63, June.
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