IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Decomposing Inequality and Social Welfare Changes : The Use of Alternative Welfare Metrics

  • John Creedy
  • Nicolas Hérault†

This paper presents two ‘non-welfarist’ approaches and one ‘welfarist’approach to decompose changes in inequality and social welfare into three components. We distinguish the contributions of population,tax policy and labour supply behavioural effects. As an illustration,we decompose changes in inequality and in values of a social welfare function in Australia between 2001 and 2006. Inequality is first defined in non-welfarist terms as a function of disposable income: the independent judge places no value on leisure. Then this is modified to allow for evaluations using a weighted geometric mean of disposable income and leisure. This is seen to modify the evaluation of changes in important ways. Furthermore, the results are shown to be quite different from those obtained using a ‘welfarist’ evaluation in terms of money metric utility, where separate behavioural effects cannot be isolated.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found ( [301 Moved Permanently]--> If this is indeed the case, please notify (Katherine Perez)

Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1121.

in new window

Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1121
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino, 2008. "Designing Optimal Taxes with a Microeconometric Model of Household Labour Supply," CHILD Working Papers wp06_08, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  2. Olivier Bargain, 2010. "Back to the future - decomposition analysis of distributive policies using behavioural simulations," Working Papers 201032, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  3. André Decoster & Peter Haan, 2010. "Empirical Welfare Analysis in Random Utility Models of Labour Supply," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1074, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. John Creedy & Nicolas Hérault & Guyonne Kalb, 2011. "Measuring welfare changes in behavioural microsimulation modelling: Accounting for the random utility component," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 5-34, May.
  5. repec:adr:anecst:y:2011:i:101-102:p:02 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Frank Cowell & Carlo Fiorio, 2011. "Inequality decompositions—a reconciliation," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 509-528, December.
  7. Mercedes Sastre & Alain Trannoy, 2002. "Shapley inequality decomposition by factor components: Some methodological issues," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 77(1), pages 51-89, December.
  8. Richard Blundell & Andrew Shephard, 2011. "Employment, Hours of Work and the Optimal Taxation of Low Income Families," Working Papers 1307, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  9. Giuseppe Pignataro, 2010. "Measuring equality of opportunity by Shapley value," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(1), pages 786-798.
  10. Suman Seth, 2013. "A class of distribution and association sensitive multidimensional welfare indices," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 133-162, June.
  11. Ericson, Peter & Flood, Lennart, 2009. "A Microsimulation Approach to an Optimal Swedish Income Tax," Working Papers in Economics 375, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  12. Arthur Charpentier & Stéphane Mussard, 2010. "Income Inequality Games," Working Papers 10-01, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jan 2010.
  13. Donaldson, David, 1992. "On The Aggregation Of Money Measures Of Well-Being In Applied Welfare Economics," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 17(01), July.
  14. John Creedy & Cath Sleeman, 2005. "Adult equivalence scales, inequality and poverty," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 51-81.
  15. Banks, James & Johnson, Paul, 1994. "Equivalence Scale Relativities Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 883-90, July.
  16. Olivier Bargain, 2009. "The Distributional Effects of Tax-benefit Policies under New Labour: A Shapley Decomposition," Working Papers 200918, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  17. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb & Rosanna Scutella, 2006. "Income distribution in discrete hours behavioural microsimulation models: An illustration," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 57-76, April.
  18. BOADWAY, R. & MARCHAND, M. & PESTIEAU, P. & del MAR RACIONERO, M., 2001. "Optimal redistribution with heterogeneous preferences for leisure," CORE Discussion Papers 2001025, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  19. FLEURBAEY, Marc & MANIQUET, François, 1998. "Optimal income taxation: and ordinal approach," CORE Discussion Papers 1998065, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  20. Blackorby, Charles & Laisney, Francois & Schmachtenberg, Rolf, 1993. "Reference-price-independent welfare prescriptions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 63-76, January.
  21. John Creedy & Alan S. Duncan & Mark Harris & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "Microsimulation Modelling of Taxation and the Labour Market," Books, Edward Elgar, number 2796.
  22. Kolenikov, Stanislav & Shorrocks, Anthony, 2003. "A Decomposition Analysis of Regional Poverty in Russia," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  23. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb, 2005. "Measuring Welfare Changes In Labour Supply Models," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 73(6), pages 664-685, December.
  24. Ramani Gunatilaka & Duangkamon Chotikapanich, 2006. "Inequality Trends and Determinants in Sri Lanka 1980-2002: A Shapley Approach to Decomposition," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 6/06, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  25. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 2001. "Any Non-welfarist Method of Policy Assessment Violates the Pareto Principle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 281-286, April.
  26. Stéphane Mussard, 2005. "Une réconciliation entre la décomposition en sous-groupes et la décomposition en sources de revenu de l’indice de Gini La multi-décomposition de l’indicateur de Gini," Cahiers de recherche 05-06, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.
  27. Jenkins, Stephen P & Cowell, Frank A, 1994. "Parametric Equivalence Scales and Scale Relativities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 891-900, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1121. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Katherine Perez)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.