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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0301
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  1. Zhang, Siao-Bo & Kanbur, Ravi, 1999. "What Difference Do Polarization Measures Make? An Application To China," Working Papers 7224, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  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. Davidson, R. & Duclos, J.Y., 1995. "Statistical Inference for the Measurement of the Incidence of Taxes and Transfers," Papers 9521, Laval - Recherche en Politique Economique.
  4. 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.
  5. Hardle, Wolfgang & Linton, Oliver, 1986. "Applied nonparametric methods," Handbook of Econometrics, in: R. F. Engle & D. McFadden (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 38, pages 2295-2339 Elsevier.
  6. Pagan,Adrian & Ullah,Aman, 1999. "Nonparametric Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521586115.
  7. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  8. Conchita D'Ambrosio & Edward N. Wolff, 2001. "Is Wealth Becoming More Polarized in the United States?," Macroeconomics 0106006, EconWPA.
  9. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-51, July.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995. "On the Number and Size of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. 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, vol. 0(Fall 2000), pages 219-302, August.
  13. Anderson, Gordon, 1996. "Nonparametric Tests of Stochastic Dominance in Income Distributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1183-93, September.
  14. 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.
  15. Juan G. Rodríguez & Rafael Salas, . "Extended Bi-Polarization And Inequality Measures," Working Papers 10-03 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
  16. repec:bla:restud:v:50:y:1983:i:4:p:723-35 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Chakravarty, Satya R. & Dutta, Bhaskar, 1990. "Migration and welfare," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 119-138, August.
  18. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-58, May.
  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. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Davidson, Russell & Duclos, Jean-Yves, 1998. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," Cahiers de recherche 9805, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
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