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On the measurement of polarization for ordinal data

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  • Martyna Kobus

    () (Warsaw University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Dluga 44/50, 00-241 Warsaw, Poland.)

Abstract

Atkinson’s Theorem (Atkinson, 1970) is a classic result in inequality measurement. It establishes Lorenz dominance as a useful criterion for comparative judgements of inequality between distributions. If a Lorenz distribution A dominates distribution B, then all indices in a broad class of measures must confirm A as less unequal than B. Recent research, however, shows that standard inequality theory cannot be applied to ordinal data (Zheng, 2008), such as self-reported health status or educational attainment. A new theory in development (Apouey, 2007; Abul Naga and Yalcin, 2008) measures disparity of ordinal data as polarization. Typically a criterion used to compare distributions is the polarization relation as proposed by Allison and Foster (AF) (2004). We characterize classes of polarization measures equivalent to the AF relation analogously to Atkinson’s original approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Martyna Kobus, 2014. "On the measurement of polarization for ordinal data," Working Papers 325, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2014-325
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    File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2014-325.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Benedicte Apouey, 2007. "Measuring health polarization with self-assessed health data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(9), pages 875-894.
    2. 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 349-363.
    3. Abul Naga, Ramses H. & Yalcin, Tarik, 2008. "Inequality measurement for ordered response health data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1614-1625, December.
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    5. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    6. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-1381, September.
    7. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    8. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-358, May.
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    11. Kobus, Martyna & Miłoś, Piotr, 2012. "Inequality decomposition by population subgroups for ordinal data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 15-21.
    12. 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 401-421, December.
    13. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1984. "Inequality Decomposition by Population Subgroups," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1369-1385, November.
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    15. Allison, R. Andrew & Foster, James E., 2004. "Measuring health inequality using qualitative data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 505-524, May.
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    17. Buhong Zheng, 2011. "A new approach to measure socioeconomic inequality in health," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(4), pages 555-577, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Livia ŞTEFĂNESCU, 2015. "Analyzing the health status of the population using ordinal data," Computational Methods in Social Sciences (CMSS), "Nicolae Titulescu" University of Bucharest, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 3(1), pages 18-24, June.
    2. Martyna Kobus & Marcin Jakubek, 2015. "Youth unemployment and mental health: dominance approach. Evidence from Poland," IBS Working Papers 4/2015, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Polarization; Inequality measurement; Ordinal data; Atkinson’s Theorem; Dominance.;

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics

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