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Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation

  • Duclos, Jean-Yves
  • Esteban, Joan
  • Ray, Debraj

The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, we develop the measurement theory of polarization for the case in which asset distributions can be described using density functions. Second, we provide sample estimators of population polarization indices that can be used to compare polarization across time or entities. Distribution-free statistical inference results are also derived in order to ensure that the orderings of polarization across entities are not simply due to sampling noise. An illustration of the use of these tools using data from 21 countries shows that polarization and inequality orderings can often differ in practice.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0301.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0301
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  1. Conchita D'Ambrosio & Edward N. Wolff, . "Is Wealth Becoming More Polarized in the United States?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_330, Levy Economics Institute.
  2. 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.
  3. Chakravarty, Satya R. & Dutta, Bhaskar, 1990. "Migration and welfare," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 119-138, August.
  4. Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  5. Kakwani, Nanak, 1993. "Statistical Inference in the Measurement of Poverty," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(4), pages 632-39, November.
  6. Russell Davidson & Jean-Yves Duclos, 1997. "Statistical Inference for the Measurement of the Incidence of Taxes and Transfers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1453-1466, November.
  7. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  8. 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.
  9. Davidson, R. & Duclos, J.-Y., 1998. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 98a14, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  10. 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.
  11. Härdle, W.K., 1992. "Applied Nonparametric Methods," Discussion Paper 1992-6, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. Juan G. Rodríguez & Rafael Salas, . "Extended Bi-Polarization And Inequality Measures," Working Papers 10-03 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
  13. X. Zhang & R. Kanbur, 2001. "What Difference Do Polarisation Measures Make? An Application to China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 85-98.
  14. Beach, Charles M & Davidson, Russell, 1983. "Distribution-Free Statistical Inference with Lorenz Curves and Income Shares," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 723-35, October.
  15. Bishop, John A & Chakraborti, S & Thistle, Paul D, 1989. "Asymptotically Distribution-Free Statistical Inference for Generalized Lorenz Curves," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(4), pages 725-27, November.
  16. Anderson, Gordon, 1996. "Nonparametric Tests of Stochastic Dominance in Income Distributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1183-93, September.
  17. Oliver LINTON, . "Applied nonparametric methods," Statistic und Oekonometrie 9312, Humboldt Universitaet Berlin.
  18. Norman Loayza & Pablo Fajnzylber & Daniel Lederman, 2000. "Crime and Victimization: An Economic Perspective," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, August.
  19. 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.
  20. Beach, Charles M & Richmond, James, 1985. "Joint Confidence Intervals for Income Shares and Lorenz Curves," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 439-50, June.
  21. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-58, May.
  22. Gradin, Carlos, 2000. "Polarization by Sub-populations in Spain, 1973-91," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(4), pages 457-74, December.
  23. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  24. Davies, J. B. & Shorrocks, A. F., 1989. "Optimal grouping of income and wealth data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 97-108, September.
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