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Comparisons of heterogeneous distributions and dominance criteria

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  • Patrick Moyes

    () (GREThA - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

We are interested in the comparisons of standard-of-living across societies when observations of both income and household structure are available. We generalise the approach of Atkinson and Bourguignon (1987) to the case where the marginal distributions of needs can vary across the household populations under comparison. We assume that a sympathetic observer uses a utilitarian social welfare function in order to rank heterogeneous income distributions. Insofar as any individual can play the role of the observer, we take the unanimity point of view according to which the planner’s judgements have to comply with a certain number of basic normative principles. We impose increasingly restrictive conditions on the household’s utility function and we investigate their effects on the resulting rankings of the distributions. This leads us to propose four dominance criteria that can be used for providing an unambiguous ranking of income distributions for heterogeneous populations.
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Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Moyes, 2010. "Comparisons of heterogeneous distributions and dominance criteria," Post-Print hal-00796072, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00796072
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00796072
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Udo Ebert & Patrick Moyes, 2009. "Household decisions and equivalence scales," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(4), pages 1039-1062, October.
    2. Fleurbaey, Marc & Hagnere, Cyrille & Trannoy, Alain, 2003. "Welfare comparisons with bounded equivalence scales," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 309-336, June.
    3. d'Aspremont, Claude & Gevers, Louis, 2002. "Social welfare functionals and interpersonal comparability," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, in: K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 459-541, Elsevier.
    4. Jenkins, Stephen P & Lambert, Peter J, 1993. "Ranking Income Distributions When Needs Differ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(4), pages 337-356, December.
    5. A. B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201.
    6. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
    7. Lambert, Peter J & Ramos, Xavier, 2002. "Welfare Comparisons: Sequential Procedures for Heterogeneous Populations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(276), pages 549-562, November.
    8. Gravel, Nicolas & Moyes, Patrick, 2012. "Ethically robust comparisons of bidimensional distributions with an ordinal attribute," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1384-1426.
    9. Glewwe, Paul, 1991. "Household equivalence scales and the measurement of inequality : Transfers from the poor to the rich could decrease inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 211-216, March.
    10. Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1539-1572, October.
    11. Anthony F. Shorrocks & James E. Foster, 1987. "Transfer Sensitive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 485-497.
    12. Udo Ebert & Patrick Moyes, 2003. "Equivalence Scales Reconsidered," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 319-343, January.
    13. Christine Chambaz & Eric Maurin, 1998. "Atkinson And Bourguignon'S Dominance Criteria: Extended And Applied To The Measurement Of Poverty In France," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(4), pages 497-513, December.
    14. Bourguignon, Francois, 1989. "Family size and social utility : Income distribution dominance criteria," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-80, September.
    15. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    16. Maasoumi, Esfandiar, 1986. "The Measurement and Decomposition of Multi-dimensional Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 991-997, July.
    17. Serge-Christophe Kolm, 1977. "Multidimensional Egalitarianisms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-13.
    18. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-142, June.
    19. Larry G. Epstein & Stephen M. Tanny, 1980. "Increasing Generalized Correlation: A Definition and Some Economic Consequences," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(1), pages 16-34, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Moyes, Patrick, 2013. "Rearrangements and sequential rank order dominance," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 278-290.
    2. Gravel, Nicolas & Moyes, Patrick, 2012. "Ethically robust comparisons of bidimensional distributions with an ordinal attribute," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1384-1426.
    3. Marc Fleurbaey & Cyrille Hagneré & Alain Trannoy, 2007. "Welfare Comparisons of Income Distributions and Family Size," IDEP Working Papers 0702, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised 16 Jan 2007.
    4. Peter J. Lambert & Xavier Ramos, 2001. "Welfare comparisons: sequential procedures for heterogenous population," Working Papers wp0114, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    5. Christoffer Sonne-Schmidt & Finn Tarp & Lars Peter Østerdal, 2016. "Ordinal Bivariate Inequality: Concepts and Application to Child Deprivation in Mozambique," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(3), pages 559-573, September.
    6. Mathieu Faure & Nicolas Gravel, 2021. "Reducing Inequalities Among Unequals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(1), pages 357-404, February.
    7. N. GRAVEL & Patrick MOYES, 2008. "Bidimensional Inequalities with an Ordinal Variable," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2008-14, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    8. Muller, Christophe & Trannoy, Alain, 2011. "A dominance approach to the appraisal of the distribution of well-being across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 239-246.
    9. Christophe Muller & Alain Trannoy, 2003. "A Dominance Approach to Well-Being Inequality across Countries," IDEP Working Papers 0313, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France.
    10. Sonne-Schmidt, Christoffer & Tarp, Finn & Østerdal, Lars Peter, 2013. "Ordinal Multidimensional Inequality," WIDER Working Paper Series 097, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Christophe Muller, 2019. "Social Shock Sharing and Stochastic Dominance," Working Papers halshs-02005735, HAL.
    12. Nicolas Gravel & Patrick Moyes, 2011. "Bidimensional Inequalities with an Ordinal Variable," Studies in Choice and Welfare, in: Marc Fleurbaey & Maurice Salles & John A. Weymark (ed.), Social Ethics and Normative Economics, pages 101-127, Springer.
    13. Patrick Moyes, 2011. "Rearrangements and sequential rank order dominance. A result with economic applications," Post-Print hal-00796066, HAL.
    14. Louis Eeckhoudt & Béatrice Rey & Harris Schlesinger, 2007. "A Good Sign for Multivariate Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(1), pages 117-124, January.
    15. Udo Ebert & Patrick Moyes, 2017. "Inequality and isoelastic equivalence scales: restrictions and implications," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 48(2), pages 295-326, February.
    16. Nicolas Gravel & Brice Magdalou & Patrick Moyes, 2019. "Inequality measurement with an ordinal and continuous variable," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 52(3), pages 453-475, March.
    17. Marling, Tina Gottschalk & Range, Troels Martin & Sudhölter, Peter & Østerdal, Lars Peter, 2018. "Decomposing bivariate dominance for social welfare comparisons," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 1-8.
    18. Gajdos, Thibault & Weymark, John A., 2012. "Introduction to inequality and risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1313-1330.
    19. Christoffer Sonne-Schmidt & Finn Tarp & Lars Peter Østerdal, 2013. "Ordinal Multidimensional Inequality," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2013-097, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    20. Dubois, Marc & Mussard, Stéphane, 2019. "Utility and income transfer principles: Interplay and incompatibility," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 46-56.
    21. Mathews, Timothy & Schwartz, Jesse A., 2019. "Comparisons of utility inequality and income inequality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 18-20.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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