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Empirical Applications of Multidimensional Inequality Analysis

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  • Patricia Justino

    () (Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, Department of Economics, University of Sussex)

Abstract

This paper explores the empirical application of theoretical multidimensional inequality analysis using real household welfare distributions. The paper operationalises recent conceptual developments in multidimensional inequality theory and assesses their usefulness for measurement and policy analysis. Despite the existence of a thriving theoretical literature on multidimensional inequality, empirical applications, particularly at the individual and household levels, are few and far between. This paper compares and contrasts different methodologies for the analysis of multidimensional welfare, including multidimensional inequality indices and stochastic dominance techniques. The results strongly highlight the importance of bringing non-monetary aspects of household welfare into the forefront of inequality analysis since measurements based solely on the distribution of income variables may misrepresent the degree of overall inequality in society. Agreement over the various approaches to the measurement of multidimensional inequality entails, however, non-trivial decisions that may limit the practical usefulness of these measures. We suggest that the use of multidimensional inequality ranges and restrictive dominance criteria may open significant scope for further developments in the empirical analysis of multidimensional inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricia Justino, 2005. "Empirical Applications of Multidimensional Inequality Analysis," PRUS Working Papers 23, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:pru:wpaper:23
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    File URL: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Units/PRU/wps/wp23.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Walter Bossert & Conchita D'Ambrosio & Vito Peragine, 2007. "Deprivation and Social Exclusion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 777-803, November.
    2. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 2002. "Consumption, health, gender and poverty," Working Papers 261, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    3. Atkinson, A B, 1997. "Bringing Income Distribution in from the Cold," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 297-321, March.
    4. Atkinson, A. B. & Bourguignon, F., 1990. "The design of direct taxation and family benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 3-29, February.
    5. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-920, July.
    6. A. B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201.
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    Cited by:

    1. Koen Decancq and Maria Ana Lugo, 2008. "Setting Weights in Multidimensional Indices of Well-Being," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp018, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    2. Nesson, Erik T. & Robinson, Joshua J., 2015. "An information theory based framework for the measurement of population health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 86-103.
    3. Sebastian Leitner & Robert Stehrer, 2011. "Subgroup and Shapely Value Decompositions of Multidimensional Inequality: An Application to South East European Countries," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 96, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    4. Maqbool H. Sial & Asma Noreen & Rehmat Ullah Awan, 2015. "Measuring Multidimensional Poverty and Inequality in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 54(4), pages 685-698.
    5. Nicholas Rohde & Ross Guest, 2013. "Multidimensional Racial Inequality in the United States," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 591-605, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multidimensional inequality; inequality indices; income inequality; education inequality; health inequality; stochastic dominance;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other

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