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Estimating and Combining National Income Distributions using Limited Data

  • Duangkamon Chotikapanich
  • William E. Griffiths
  • D.S. Prasada Rao

A major problem encountered in studies of income inequality at regional and global levels is the estimation of income distributions from data that are in a summary form. In this paper we estimate national and regional income distributions within a general framework that relaxes the assumption of constant income within groups. A technique to estimate the parameters of a beta-2 distribution using grouped data is proposed. Regional income distribution is modelled using a mixture of country-specific distributions and its properties are examined. The techniques are used to analyse national and regional inequality trends for eight East Asian countries and two benchmark years, 1988 and 1993.

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Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 926.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:926
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia
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  1. Deininger, K & Squire, L, 1996. "Measuring Income Inequality : A New Data-Base," Papers 537, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  2. Galí, Jordi & Monacelli, Tommaso, 2002. "Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3346, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Quah, Danny, 2002. "One Third of the World's Growth and Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 3316, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. McDonald, James B, 1984. "Some Generalized Functions for the Size Distribution of Income," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 647-63, May.
  5. McDonald, James B & Ransom, Michael R, 1979. "Functional Forms, Estimation Techniques and the Distribution of Income," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1513-25, November.
  6. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The Disturbing "Rise" of Global Income Inequality," NBER Working Papers 8904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Quah, Danny, 2002. "One Third of the World's Growth and Inequality," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  8. Steve Dowrick & Muhammad Akmal, 2005. "Contradictory Trends In Global Income Inequality: A Tale Of Two Biases ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(2), pages 201-229, 06.
  9. Branko Milanovic, 2003. "The Ricardian Vice: Why Sala-i-Martin’s calculations of world income inequality are wrong," HEW 0305003, EconWPA.
  10. Chotikapanich, Duangkamon & Valenzuela, Rebecca & Rao, D S Prasada, 1997. "Global and Regional Inequality in the Distribution of Income: Estimation with Limited and Incomplete Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 533-46.
  11. McDonald, James B. & Xu, Yexiao J., 1995. "A generalization of the beta distribution with applications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1-2), pages 133-152.
  12. Wilfling, Bernd, 1996. "Lorenz ordering of generalized beta-II income distributions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1-2), pages 381-388.
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