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On the Measurement of Polarisation: A Questionnaire Study

  • Amiel, Yoram

    ()

    (Ruppin Academic Center)

  • Cowell, Frank A.

    ()

    (London School of Economics)

  • Ramos, Xavi

    ()

    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Starting from the axiomatisation of polarisation contained in Esteban and Ray (1994) and Chakravarty and Majumdar (2001) we investigate whether people's perceptions of income polarisation is consistent with the key axioms. This is carried out using a questionnaire-experimental approach that combines both paper questionnaires and on-line interactive techniques. The responses suggest that important axioms which serve to differentiate polarisation from inequality – e.g. increased bipolarization – as well as other distinctive features of polarisation, i.e. the non-monotonous behaviour attributed to polarisation, are not widely accepted.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2686.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Income and Wealth, 2010, 56 (1), 23-46
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2686
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  1. Bossert, Walter & Pfingsten, Andreas, 1990. "Intermediate inequality: concepts, indices, and welfare implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 117-134, April.
  2. Esteban, J. & Gradin, C. & Ray, D., 1999. "Extension of a Measure of Polarization, with an Application to the Income Distribution of Five OECD Countries," Papers 24, El Instituto de Estudios Economicos de Galicia Pedro Barrie de la Maza.
  3. Joan Esteban & Carlos Gradín & Debraj Ray, 2007. "An Extension of a Measure of Polarization, with an application to the income distribution of five OECD countries," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, April.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-51, July.
  7. 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.
  8. Amiel,Yoram & Cowell,Frank, 1999. "Thinking about Inequality," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521466967.
  9. Amiel, Yoram & Cowell, Frank A., 1992. "Measurement of income inequality : Experimental test by questionnaire," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-26, February.
  10. Juan G. Rodríguez & Rafael Salas, . "Extended Bi-Polarization And Inequality Measures," Working Papers 10-03 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
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