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American baby-losers? Robust indirect comparison of affluence across generations


  • Alessandra Michelangeli

    () (University of Milan-Bicocca and Econpubblica-Bocconi University)

  • Eugenio Peluso

    () (University of Verone)

  • Alain Trannoy



We propose an indirect and robust method to detect a change in the concentration of economic affluence defined as an aggregate measure of the command over lifetime resources when the full stream of income receipts along the life cycle is unknown and only consumption surveys are available. The method relies on a new stochastic ordering, the “Generalized Top Lorenz” and the key-property of concavity of consumption with respect to wealth. Our application on US data for the period 1980-2002 shows a moderate increase in economic affluence and points out the di¢ cult start in life of people belonging to the "Baby loser generation" (people born in the sixties).

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandra Michelangeli & Eugenio Peluso & Alain Trannoy, 2009. "American baby-losers? Robust indirect comparison of affluence across generations," Working Papers 133, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2009-133

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    Cited by:

    1. Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico, 2010. "Multidimensional Measurement of Richness: Theory and an Application to Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4825, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    concavity; wealth; dominance orderings; consumption.;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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