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How Do Regional Price Levels Affect Income Inequality? Household-Level Evidence from 21 Countries

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  • Petr Jansky

    (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nabrezi 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic)

  • Marek Sedivy

    (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nabrezi 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic)

Abstract

Regional differences in prices levels are substantial in many countries, but little is known about how important they are for income inequality and relative poverty. To bridge this gap, we provide new evidence on the basis of the best available data and a novel two-step approach. First, we collect the largest cross-country dataset of regional price level estimates from 12 countries and use it to predict regional price levels in other countries. We then combine all these regional prices levels with household-level data from the Luxembourg Income Study, which gives us results for a final sample of 21 countries. We find that for some countries Gini coefficients and headcount poverty ratios are statistically significantly different when adjusted for regional price levels. For example, we show that adjusting for regional price levels would lower the Gini coefficients by 2% for Italy, 3% for Columbia and by 4% for Georgia, while it would increase the headcount poverty ratio by 6% for France and by 7% for Ireland. We conclude that regional price levels affect income inequality to a varying extent and should be taken into account by policy makers and in future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Petr Jansky & Marek Sedivy, 2018. "How Do Regional Price Levels Affect Income Inequality? Household-Level Evidence from 21 Countries," Working Papers IES 2018/24, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Sep 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:wpaper:wp2018_24
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    income inequality; relative poverty; regional price levels; regional purchasing power parities; Luxembourg Income Study;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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