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Measuring Economic Insecurity

  • BOSSERT, Walter
  • D'AMBROSIO, Conchita

We provide a systematic treatment of the notion of economic insecurity, assuming that an individual’s sentiment of insecurity depends on the current wealth level and its variations experienced in the past. We think of wealth as a comprehensive variable encompassing anything that may help in coping with adverse occurrences. The current wealth level could also be interpreted as incorporating the individual’s evaluation of future prospects. Variations in wealth experienced in the recent past are given higher weight than experiences that occurred in the more distant past. Two classes of measures are characterized with sets of plausible and intuitive axioms.

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Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 07-2009.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:07-2009
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  1. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  2. Horst Zank, 2007. "Social welfare functions with a reference income," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 609-636, June.
  3. Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A., 1980. "A single-parameter generalization of the Gini indices of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 67-86, February.
  4. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1971. "Increasing risk II: Its economic consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 66-84, March.
  5. Lars Osberg, 1998. "Economic Insecurity," Discussion Papers 0088, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
  6. Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931, March.
  7. Weymark, John A., 1981. "Generalized gini inequality indices," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 409-430, August.
  8. Bossert, Walter, 1990. "An axiomatization of the single-series Ginis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 82-92, February.
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