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Multidimensional Inequality Measurement: a Proposal


  • List, C.


Two essential intuitions about the concept of multidimensional inequality have been highlighted in the emerging body of literature on this subject: first, multidimensional inequality should be a function of the uniform inequality of a multivariate distribution of goods or attributes across people (Kolm, 1977); and second, it should also be a function of the cross-correlation between distributions of goods or attributes in different dimensions (Atkinson and Bourguignon, 1982; Walzer, 1983). The present paper proposes a general method of designing a wider range of multidimensional inequality indices that also respect both intuitions, and illustrates this method by defining two classes of such indices: a generalization of the Gini coefficient, and a generalization of Atkinson ; s one-dimensional measure of inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • List, C., 1999. "Multidimensional Inequality Measurement: a Proposal," Economics Papers 9927, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:9927

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. William Poole, 1999. "Monetary policy rules?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 3-12.
    2. Taylor, John B., 1999. "Staggered price and wage setting in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 1009-1050 Elsevier.
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    7. Chiarella,Carl & Flaschel,Peter, 2011. "The Dynamics of Keynesian Monetary Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521180184, March.
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    9. PLASMANS, Joseph & MEERSMAN, Hilde & VAN POECK, André & MERLEVEDE, Bruno, 2002. "The unemployment benefit system and wage flexibility in EMU: time-varying evidence in five countries," Working Papers 2002020, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
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    17. Robert J. Gordon, 1998. "Foundations of the Goldilocks Economy: Supply Shocks and the Time-Varying NAIRU," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 297-346.
    18. H. Rose, 1967. "On the Non-Linear Theory of the Employment Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(2), pages 153-173.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thibault Gajdos & John Weymark, 2005. "Multidimensional generalized Gini indices," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(3), pages 471-496, October.
    2. Casilda Lasso de la Vega & Ana Urrutia & Amaia Sarachu, 2010. "Characterizing multidimensional inequality measures which fulfil the Pigou–Dalton bundle principle," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35(2), pages 319-329, July.
    3. Koen Decancq & María Ana Lugo, 2009. "Measuring inequality of well-being with a correlation-sensitive multidimensional Gini index," Working Papers 124, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    4. Kai-yuen Tsui, 2009. "Measurement of income mobility: a re-examination," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 33(4), pages 629-645, November.
    5. Andrea Brandolini, 2008. "On applying synthetic indices of multidimensional well-being: health and income inequalities in selected EU countries," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 668, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Banerjee, Asis Kumar, 2010. "A multidimensional Gini index," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 87-93, September.
    7. Henar Diez & Mª Casilda Lasso de la Vega & Ana Marta Urrutia, 2007. "Unit-Consistent Aggregative Multidimensional Inequality Measures: A Characterization," Working Papers 66, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    8. repec:asi:ajemod:2017:p:274-296 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Barry C. Arnold, 2005. "Inequality measures for multivariate distributions," Metron - International Journal of Statistics, Dipartimento di Statistica, Probabilità e Statistiche Applicate - University of Rome, vol. 0(3), pages 317-327.

    More about this item



    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being


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