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Inequality in Australia 1983-2004: A Stochastic Dominance Approach

  • Hooi Hooi Lean
  • Ma. Rebecca Valenzuela

In this paper, we employ stochastic dominance analysis on Australian unit records to investigate trends in inequality and relative welfare levels in Australia over the period 1983 to 2004. We find that that when the stochastic dominance tests are applied to income and expenditure distributions for the entire population, net transfers to households do not appear to make any significant difference on the distribution of inequality existing for each year. However, when analysis is applied to particular population subgroups in the economy, the tests show that taxes and transfers do improve existing imbalances in the distribution of welfare. Our group results strong evidence of long-term disparities in the relative welfare levels of male-headed over female-headed households, of households with children over those without, and of couple-parents families over their single-parent counterparts.

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File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/research/papers/2012/0612inequalityleanvalenzuela.pdf
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Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 06-12.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2012-06
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia
Phone: +61-3-9905-2493
Fax: +61-3-9905-5476
Web page: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/
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  1. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 15-51, January.
  2. Brozozowski, Matthew & Gervais, Martin & Klein, Paul & Suzuki, Micho, 2009. "Consumption, income, and wealth inequality in Canada," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0904, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  3. David Johnson & Roger Wilkins, 2004. "Effects of Changes in Family Composition and Employment Patterns on the Distribution of Income in Australia: 1981-1982 to 1997-1998," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(249), pages 219-238, 06.
  4. George Athanasopoulos & Farshid Vahid, 2002. "Statistical Inference on Changes in Income Inequality in Australia," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 9/02, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  5. Thomas F. Crossley & Krishna Pendakur, 2002. "Consumption Inequality," Department of Economics Working Papers 2002-09, McMaster University.
  6. Barrett, Garry F & Crossley, Thomas F & Worswick, Christopher, 2000. "Consumption and Income Inequality in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 76(233), pages 116-38, June.
  7. Aaron Nicholas & Ranjan Ray & Rebecca Valenzuela, 2008. "Evaluating The Distributional Implications Of Price Movements: Methodology, Application And Australian Evidence," Monash Economics Working Papers 33/08, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Barrett, Garry F & Crossley, Thomas F & Worswick, Christopher, 2000. "Demographic Trends and Consumption Inequality in Australia between 1975 and 1993," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(4), pages 437-56, December.
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