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Unit-consistency and polarization of income distributions

  • Ma Casilda Lasso de la Vega

    ()

    (Department of Applied Economics, University of the Basque Country, Dep. Economía Aplicada)

  • Ana Urrutia

    ()

    (Department of Applied Economics, University of the Basque Country, Dep. Economía Aplicada)

  • Henar Diez

    (Department of Applied Economics, University of the Basque Country, Dep. Economía Aplicada)

Most of the polarization measures proposed in the literature, and likewise the inequality and poverty indices, assume some invariance condition, be that scale, translation or intermediate, which imposes value judgements on the measurement. In the inequality and poverty fields, B. Zheng suggests rejecting these invariance conditions as axioms and proposes replacing them with the unit-consistency axiom (Economica 2007, Economic Theory 2007 and Social Choice and Welfare 2007). This property demands that the inequality or poverty rankings, rather than their cardinal values, are not altered when income is measured in different monetary units. Following Zheng’s proposal we explore the consequences of the unit-consistency axiom in the polarization field and propose and characterize a class of intermediate polarization orderings which is unit-consistent.

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File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2008-100.pdf
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Paper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 100.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2008-100
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ecineq.org
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  1. Ma Casilda Lasso de la Vega & Ana Marta Urrutia, 2006. "An Alternative Formulation of the Esteban-Gradín-Ray Extended Measure of Polarization," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 15(I), pages 42-54, December.
  2. Joe C. Davis & John H. Huston, 1992. "The Shrinking Middle-Income Class: A Multivariate Analysis," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 277-285, Summer.
  3. Tateo Yoshida, 2005. "Social welfare rankings of income distributions A new parametric concept of intermediate inequality," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 557-574, 06.
  4. Wolfson, Michael C, 1997. "Divergent Inequalities: Theory and Empirical Results," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(4), pages 401-21, December.
  5. X. Zhang & R. Kanbur, 2001. "What Difference Do Polarisation Measures Make? An Application to China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 85-98.
  6. Satya R. Chakravarty & Amita Majumder & Sonali Roy, 2007. "A Treatment Of Absolute Indices Of Polarization," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 58(2), pages 273-293.
  7. Esteban, J.M. & Ray, D., 1992. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 171.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  8. Wang, You-Qiang & Tsui, Kai-Yuen, 2000. " Polarization Orderings and New Classes of Polarization Indices," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(3), pages 349-63.
  9. Jenkins, Stephen P., 1995. "Did the middle class shrink during the 1980s? UK evidence from kernel density estimates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 407-413, October.
  10. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-58, May.
  11. Chakravarty, Satya R & Majumder, Amita, 2001. "Inequality, Polarisation and Welfare: Theory and Applications," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, March.
  12. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2007:i:36:p:1-6 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 2003. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Cahiers de recherche 0301, CIRPEE.
  14. Claudio Zoli, . "A Surplus Sharing Approach to the Measurement of Inequality," Discussion Papers 98/25, Department of Economics, University of York.
  15. Buhong Zheng, 2007. "Unit-Consistent Decomposable Inequality Measures," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(293), pages 97-111, 02.
  16. Buhong Zheng, 2007. "Unit-Consistent Poverty Indices," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 113-142, April.
  17. Pfingsten, Andreas, 1986. "Distributionally-neutral tax changes for different inequality concepts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 385-393, August.
  18. Satya R. Chakravarty & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2010. "Polarization Orderings Of Income Distributions," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(1), pages 47-64, 03.
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