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What Drives Differences in Inequality Across Countries?

  • Miguel Székely
  • Marianne Hilgert
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    This paper presents microeconomic simulation techniques to examine what drives differences in inequality across countries. The simulation decomposes cross-country inequality differences into the importance of individual decisions, such as fertility, mating, labor force participation, and household structure, while at the same time including information on the importance of different income sources. The decomposition is applied to household survey data from 35 countries from 6 regions in the world. The empirical results provide insights into the transmission mechanisms through which inequality is generated.

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    File URL: http://www.iadb.org/research/pub_hits.cfm?pub_id=WP-439&pub_file_name=pubWP-439.pdf
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    Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4243.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4243
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    1. Deininger, K & Squire, L, 1996. "Measuring Income Inequality : A New Data-Base," Papers 537, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    2. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "More on Marriage, Fertility and the Distribution of Income," RCER Working Papers 489, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    3. Kremer, Michael, 1997. "How Much Does Sorting Increase Inequality?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 115-39, February.
    4. Behrman, Jere R., 1993. "Intrahousehold distribution and the family," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 125-187 Elsevier.
    5. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10091, Paris Dauphine University.
    6. Atkinson, A.B. & Brandolini, A., 2000. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of 'Secondary' Data -Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries," Papers 379, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
    7. Haurin, Donald R & Hendershott, Patric H & Kim, Dongwook, 1993. "The Impact of Real Rents and Wages on Household Formation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 284-93, May.
    8. Bourguignon, Francois & Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective models of household behavior : An introduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 355-364, April.
    9. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1993. "The Intrahousehold Distribution of Market Labour Supply in Rural South India," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(4), pages 409-20, November.
    10. Maria Cancian & Deborah Reed, 1998. "Assessing The Effects Of Wives' Earnings On Family Income Inequality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 73-79, February.
    11. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
    12. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
    13. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 2000. "Sorting and Long-Run Inequality," NBER Working Papers 7508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 73, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    15. Mattias Lundberg & Lyn Squire, 2003. "The simultaneous evolution of growth and inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 326-344, 04.
    16. Sutherland, H., 1996. "Households, Individuals and the Re-Distribution of Income," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9614, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    17. Frank A Cowell, 1996. "Family Instability, Family Incomes and Inequality," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 12, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    18. Carlson, Marcia & Danziger, Sheldon, 1999. "Cohabitation and the Measurement of Child Poverty," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(2), pages 179-91, June.
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