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International Comparisons of Income Distribution

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  • Patrick Moyes

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  • Stephen Bazen

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Abstract

When incorporating differences in household characteristics, the choice of equivalence scale can affect the ranking of income distributions. An alternative approach was pioneered by A.B. Atkinson and F. Bourguignon (G.R. Feiwel (Ed.), Arrow and the Foundation of the Theory of Economic Policy, Macmillan, New York, 1987), who derive a sequential Lorenz dominance criterion for com-paring distributions with an identical population structure. In order to make their approach applicable to international comparisons, we extend their criterion to the case of different marginal distributions of household types, and derive a sequential stochastic dominance criterion that highlights the importance of first order dominance of the marginal distribution of household characteristics for obtaining consistent rankings of income distributions. Comparisons of distributions are made using the Luxembourg Income Study database for a number of countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Moyes & Stephen Bazen, 2003. "International Comparisons of Income Distribution," LIS Working papers 341, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:lis:liswps:341
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Timothy Smeeding & Gunther Schmaus & Brigitte Buhmann & Lee Rainwater, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates Across Ten Countries Using the LIS Database," LIS Working papers 17, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    2. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Differences in Needs and Assessment of Income Distributions," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 77-124, April.
    3. Ebert U., 1996. "Income inequality and differences in household size," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 57-58, February.
    4. Jenkins, Stephen P & Lambert, Peter J, 1993. "Ranking Income Distributions When Needs Differ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(4), pages 337-356, December.
    5. A. B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201.
    6. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
    7. Anderson, Gordon, 1996. "Nonparametric Tests of Stochastic Dominance in Income Distributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1183-1193, September.
    8. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    9. Bishop, John A & Formby, John P & Smith, W James, 1991. "International Comparisons of Income Inequality: Tests for Lorenz Dominance across Nine Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(232), pages 461-477, November.
    10. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-142, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Udo Ebert & Patrick Moyes, 2009. "Household decisions and equivalence scales," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(4), pages 1039-1062, October.
    2. Gravel, Nicolas & Moyes, Patrick, 2012. "Ethically robust comparisons of bidimensional distributions with an ordinal attribute," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1384-1426.
    3. repec:old:wpaper:333 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Nicolas Gravel & Patrick Moyes, 2013. "Utilitarianism or welfarism: does it make a difference?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(2), pages 529-551, February.
    5. Koen Caminada & Kees Goudswaard, 2005. "Are Public and Private Social Expenditures Complementary?," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 11(2), pages 175-189, May.
    6. Stephen Bazen & Patrick Moyes, 2012. "Elitism and stochastic dominance," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(1), pages 207-251, June.
    7. Udo Ebert & Patrick Moyes, 2011. "Inequality of Well-Being and Isoelastic Equivalence Scales," Working Papers V-333-11, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2011.
    8. Luis J. Imedio Olmedo & Encarnación M. Parrado Gallardo & Maria Dolores Sarrión Gavilán, 2003. "Códigos impositivos lineales. Su efecto sobre poblaciones heterogéneas," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 167(4), pages 57-85, December.
    9. repec:zbw:hohpro:333 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Udo Ebert & Patrick Moyes, 2017. "Inequality and isoelastic equivalence scales: restrictions and implications," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 48(2), pages 295-326, February.

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