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Disparities in Socio-Economic Outcomes: Some Positive Propositions and their Normative Implications

Author

Listed:
  • Peter J. Lambert

    (University of Oregon, USA)

  • S. Subramanian

    (Madras Institute of Development Studies, India)

Abstract

Demographic disparities between the rates of occurrence of an adverse economic outcome can be observed to be increasing even as general social improvements supposedly lead towards the elimination of the adverse outcome in question. Scanlan (2006) noticed this tendency and developed a ‘heuristic rule’ to explain it. In this paper, we explore the issue analytically, providing a criterion from stochastic ordering theory under which one of two demographic groups can be considered disadvantaged and the other advantaged, and showing that Scanlan’s heuristic obtains as a rigorous finding in such cases. Normative implications and appropriate social policy are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter J. Lambert & S. Subramanian, 2012. "Disparities in Socio-Economic Outcomes: Some Positive Propositions and their Normative Implications," Working Papers 281, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2012-281
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    File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2012-281.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931.
    2. Shorrocks, Anthony, 2004. "Inequality and Welfare Evaluation of Heterogeneous Income Distributions," WIDER Working Paper Series 001, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
    4. Anthony Shorrocks, 2004. "Inequality and welfare evaluation of heterogeneous income distributions," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 2(3), pages 193-218, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    disparity; economic outcome; poverty; mortality rate.;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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