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Partial Multidimensional Inequality Orderings

  • Jean-Yves Duclos
  • David E. Sahn
  • Stephen D. Younger

The paper investigates how comparisons of multivariate inequality can be made robust to varying the intensity of focus on the share of the population that are more relatively deprived. It follows the dominance approach to making inequality comparisons, as developed for instance by Atkinson (1970), Foster and Shorrocks (1988) and Formby, Smith, and Zheng (1999) in the unidimensional context, and Atkinson and Bourguignon (1982) in the multidimensional context. By focusing on those below a multidimensional inequality “frontier”, we are able to reconcile the literature on multivariate relative poverty and multivariate inequality. Some existing approaches to multivariate inequality actually reduce the distributional analysis to a univariate problem, either by using a utility function first to aggregate an individual’s multiple dimensions of well-being, or by applying a univariate inequality analysis to each dimension independently. One of our innovations is that unlike previous approaches, the distribution of relative well-being in one dimension is allowed to affect how other dimensions influence overall inequality. We apply our approach to data from India and Mexico using monetary and non-monetary indicators of well-being.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1003.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1003
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  1. David Sahn & Stephen Younger, 2005. "Improvements in children’s health: Does inequality matter?," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 125-143, August.
  2. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
  3. Formby, John P. & Smith, W. James & Zheng, Buhong, 1999. "The coefficient of variation, stochastic dominance and inequality: A new interpretation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 319-323, March.
  4. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  5. repec:bla:restud:v:49:y:1982:i:2:p:183-201 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Sahn, David & Younger, Stephen D., 2001. "Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons," Cahiers de recherche 0115, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  7. Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Jeong, Jin Ho, 1985. "The trend and the measurement of world inequality over extended periods of accounting," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 295-301.
  8. Davidson, Russell & Duclos, Jean-Yves, 2006. "Testing for Restricted Stochastic Dominance," IZA Discussion Papers 2047, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Sen, Amartya, 1983. "Poor, Relatively Speaking," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 153-69, July.
  10. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "Interpersonal Aggregation and Partial Comparability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(3), pages 393-409, May.
  11. Ernesto Savaglio, 2006. "Multidimensional inequality with variable population size," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 85-94, 05.
  12. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1992. "Growth and redistribution components of changes in poverty measures : A decomposition with applications to Brazil and India in the 1980s," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 275-295, April.
  13. Jean-Yves Duclos & David Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2005. "Robust Multidimensional Spatial Poverty Comparisons in Ghana, Madagascar, and Uganda," Cahiers de recherche 0528, CIRPEE.
  14. Foster, James E. & Shorrocks, Anthony F., 1988. "Inequality and poverty orderings," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 654-661, March.
  15. Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931, July.
  16. Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Nickelsburg, Gerald, 1988. "Multivariate Measures of Well-Being and an Analysis of Inequality in the Michigan Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 6(3), pages 326-34, July.
  17. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  18. Sahn, David E. & Stifel, David C., 2000. "Poverty Comparisons Over Time and Across Countries in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2123-2155, December.
  19. Kaur, Amarjot & Prakasa Rao, B.L.S. & Singh, Harshinder, 1994. "Testing for Second-Order Stochastic Dominance of Two Distributions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(05), pages 849-866, December.
  20. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  21. Tsui Kai-Yuen, 1995. "Multidimensional Generalizations of the Relative and Absolute Inequality Indices: The Atkinson-Kolm-Sen Approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 251-265, October.
  22. David E. Sahn & David Stifel, 2003. "Exploring Alternative Measures of Welfare in the Absence of Expenditure Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(4), pages 463-489, December.
  23. Horton, S. & Ross, J., 2003. "The economics of iron deficiency," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 51-75, February.
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