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Are Equalization Payments Making Canadians Better Off? A Two-Dimensional Dominance Answer

  • Benoit Tarroux

    ()

    (GREQAM-IDEP and Université de la Méditerranée)

This paper provides a normative appraisal of the Canadian equalization transfers system. For that sake, the two-dimensional dominance criteria introduced by Atkinson and Bourguignon(RES, 1982) are used to compare the distributions of private and public good before and after equalization payments. As the distribution before equalization is not observable, one simulates it on the basis of various scenarios which specify both its financing by the federal government and its utilization by provincial governments. The results show that Canadian equalization payments never improve social welfare for all utilitarian social planners who believe that household convert public and private goods into well-being by a utility function belonging to the classes that corresponds to the Atkinson and Bourguignon criteria. A further parametric restriction on the class of utility functions however enables to get more precise results.

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Paper provided by Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France in its series IDEP Working Papers with number 0608.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 15 Nov 2006
Date of revision: 15 Nov 2006
Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0608
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  6. Nicolas Gravel & Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay, 2007. "Is India Better off Today than 15 Years ago? A Robust Multidimensional Answer," IDEP Working Papers 0704, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised 18 May 2007.
  7. GRAVEL, Nicolas & POITEVIN, Michel, 2004. "The Progressivity of Equalization Payments in Federations," Cahiers de recherche 14-2004, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  8. Kathleen M. Day & Stanley L. Winer, 2001. "Policy-induced Migration in Canada: An Empirical Study," Carleton Economic Papers 01-08, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
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  13. Kaur, Amarjot & Prakasa Rao, B.L.S. & Singh, Harshinder, 1994. "Testing for Second-Order Stochastic Dominance of Two Distributions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(05), pages 849-866, December.
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  16. Foster, James E, 1998. "Absolute versus Relative Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 335-41, May.
  17. 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.
  18. François Bourguignon & Satya Chakravarty, 2003. "The Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 25-49, April.
  19. Valentino Dardanoni & Antonio Forcina, 1999. "Inference for Lorenz curve orderings," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 2(1), pages 49-75.
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  22. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
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