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Construction of An Adult Equivalence Index to Measure Intra-household Inequality and Poverty: Case Study

More often than not, poverty and inequality measures are based on consumption expenditures of households but this does not represent the welfare of the individuals within the household and hence concern has been raised on policy formulation (Haddad and Kanbur 1990). The strong assumption for such data use has been that resources within a household are divided according to need but a growing body of literature has argued that this is not true and that consumption inequality exists within households (Sen 1984, Thomas 1990, Phipps and Burton 1995, Iversen 2003). These studies have shown that certain social configurations such as discriminations or norms against women, the earning capacity of individuals and power structure within the households (traditionally assigned or acquired through earnings) are causes of inequality within the household. When deprivations within the household are not accounted for and if these are aggregated for the whole population, the underestimation of inequality and poverty could be significant and result in gross policy neglect.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia in its series Discussion Papers Series with number 363.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:363
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  1. Haddad, L. & Kanbur, R., 1989. "How Serious Is The Neglectof Intra-Household Inequality?," Papers 450, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1986. "On Measuring Child Costs: With Applications to Poor Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 720-44, August.
  3. Browning, Martin & Francois Bourguignon & Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Valerie Lechene, 1994. "Income and Outcomes: A Structural Model of Intrahousehold Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1067-96, December.
  4. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Equivalence Scale Relativities and the Extent of Inequality and Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1067-82, September.
  5. M. Browning & P. A. Chiappori, 1998. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1241-1278, November.
  6. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-42, June.
  7. Findlay, Ronald & Wright, Robert E, 1994. "Gender, Poverty and the Intra-household Distribution of Resources," CEPR Discussion Papers 913, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter, 2004. "Interpersonal Comparisons Of Well-Being," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 711, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  9. Cooter, Robert & Rappoport, Peter, 1984. "Were the Ordinalists Wrong about Welfare Economics?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 507-30, June.
  10. Nelson, Julie A, 1988. "Household Economies of Scale in Consumption: Theory and Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1301-14, November.
  11. Pierre-André Chiappori & Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix, 2001. "Marriage Market, Divorce Legislation and Household Labor Supply," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-16, CIRANO.
  12. Muellbauer, John, 1980. "The Estimation of the Prais-Houthakker Model of Equivalence Scales," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 153-76, January.
  13. Shelley A. Phipps & Peter S. Burton, 1995. "Sharing within Families: Implications for the Measurement of Poverty among Individuals in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(1), pages 177-204, February.
  14. Ebert, Udo, 1997. "Social Welfare When Needs Differ: An Axiomatic Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 233-44, May.
  15. Seneca, Joseph J & Taussig, Michael K, 1971. "Family Equivalence Scales and Personal Income Tax Exemptions for Children," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 53(3), pages 253-62, August.
  16. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Differences in Needs and Assessment of Income Distributions," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 77-124, April.
  17. Bojer, Hilde & Nelson, Julie A, 1999. "Equivalence Scales and the Welfare of Children: A Comment on "Is There Bias in the Economic Literature on Equivalence Scales?"," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(4), pages 531-34, December.
  18. Lanjouw, Peter & Ravallion, Martin & DEC, 1994. "Poverty and household size," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1332, The World Bank.
  19. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  20. Sara Lelli, 2005. "Using Functionings To Estimate Equivalence Scales ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(2), pages 255-284, 06.
  21. Udo Ebert, 1999. "Using equivalent income of equivalent adults to rank income distributions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 233-258.
  22. Gronau, Reuben, 1991. "The Intrafamily Allocation of Goods--How to Separate the Adult from the Child," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(3), pages 207-35, July.
  23. Pollak, Robert A & Wales, Terence J, 1979. "Welfare Comparisons and Equivalence Scales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 216-21, May.
  24. Banks, James & Johnson, Paul, 1994. "Equivalence Scale Relativities Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 883-90, July.
  25. Jenkins, Stephen P & Cowell, Frank A, 1994. "Parametric Equivalence Scales and Scale Relativities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 891-900, July.
  26. Cowell, Frank A, 1984. "The Structure of American Income Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 30(3), pages 351-75, September.
  27. Vegard Iversen, 2003. "Intra-Household Inequality: A Challenge For The Capability Approach?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 93-115.
  28. Nelson, Julie A, 1993. "Household Equivalence Scales: Theory versus Policy?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 471-93, July.
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