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Ethically Robust Comparisons of Distributions of Two Individual Attributes

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Abstract

This paper examines the normative properties of an empirically implementable dominance criterion for comparing alternative distributions of two attributes, one of which being cardinally measurable, between an arbitrary number of individuals. The criterion, which generalizes the one proposed by Bourguignon (1989), states that distribution A dominates distribution B when poverty in the cardinally measurable attribute, as measured by the poverty gap, is no greater in A than in B for all poverty lines that are weakly decreasing with respect to the other attribute. The criterion is shown to be equivalent to the ranking of distributions of two attributes that would be aggreed upon by all utility-inequality averse welfarist social planners who assume that households convert attributes into well-being by the same increasing utility function satisfying the property that the marginal utility of the cardinally measurable attribute is decreasing with respect to the two attributes. This paper also identifies the elementary equalizing transformations that correspond to this criterion.

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  • Nicolas Gravel & Patrick Moyes, 2006. "Ethically Robust Comparisons of Distributions of Two Individual Attributes," IDEP Working Papers 0605, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised Aug 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0605
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Banerjee, Asis Kumar, 2010. "A multidimensional Gini index," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 87-93, September.
    2. Claudio Zoli & Peter Lambert, 2012. "Sequential procedures for poverty gap dominance," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(2), pages 649-673, July.
    3. Benoît Tarroux, 2012. "Are equalization payments making Canadians better off? A two-dimensional dominance answer," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 10(1), pages 19-44, March.
    4. Østerdal, Lars Peter, 2010. "The mass transfer approach to multivariate discrete first order stochastic dominance: Direct proof and implications," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 1222-1228, November.
    5. Nicolas Gravel & Patrick Moyes & Benoît Tarroux, 2009. "Robust International Comparisons of Distributions of Disposable Income and Regional Public Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(303), pages 432-461, July.
    6. Nicolas Gravel & Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay, 2010. "Is India better off today than 15 years ago? A robust multidimensional answer," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(2), pages 173-195, June.
    7. Pascaline Vincent & Frédéric Chantreuil & Benoït Tarroux, 2012. "Appraising the breakdown of unequal individuals in large French cities," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201220, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    8. Decancq, Koen, 2012. "Elementary multivariate rearrangements and stochastic dominance on a Fréchet class," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1450-1459.
    9. Sonne-Schmidt, Christoffer & Tarp, Finn & Peter, Lars, 2011. "Ordinal multidimensional inequality: theory and application to the 2x2 case," MPRA Paper 72838, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. N. GRAVEL & Patrick MOYES (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113), 2008. "Bidimensional Inequalities with an Ordinal Variable," Cahiers du GREThA 2008-14, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    11. 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).
    12. Christoffer Sonne-Schmidt & Finn Tarp & Lars Peter Østerdal, 2008. "Ordinal Comparison of Multidimensional Deprivation: theory and application," Discussion Papers 08-33, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    13. Finn Tarp & Lars Peter Østerdal, 2007. "Multivariate Discrete First Order Stochastic Dominance," Discussion Papers 07-23, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    14. Benoît Tarroux, 2012. "Appraising two-Dimensional Inequality: A Questionnaire-Experimental Approach," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201216, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    15. Patrick MOYES (GREThA), 2008. "Poverty Measurement in Economics (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2008-06, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    normative analysis; two-dimensional dominance; elementary transformations.;

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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