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Multidimensional Decomposition of the Sen Index: Some Further Thoughts


  • Stéphane Mussard

    () (GREDI, Université de Sherbrooke and GEREM, Université de Perpignan)

  • Kuan Xu

    () (Department of Economics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada)


Given the multiplicative decomposition of the Sen index into three commonly used poverty statistics – the poverty rate (poverty incidence), poverty gap ratio (poverty depth) and 1 plus the Gini index of poverty gap ratios of the poor (inequality of poverty) – the index becomes much easier to use and to interpret for economists, policy analysts and decision makers. Based on the recent findings on simultaneous subgroup and source decomposition of the Gini index, we examine possible further decompositions of the Sen index and its components for policy analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Stéphane Mussard & Kuan Xu, 2006. "Multidimensional Decomposition of the Sen Index: Some Further Thoughts," Cahiers de recherche 06-08, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
  • Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:06-08

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lambert, Peter J & Aronson, J Richard, 1993. "Inequality Decomposition Analysis and the Gini Coefficient Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1221-1227, September.
    2. Yitzhaki, Shlomo & Lerman, Robert I, 1991. "Income Stratification and Income Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(3), pages 313-329, September.
    3. Foster, James E & Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1991. "Subgroup Consistent Poverty Indices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 687-709, May.
    4. Dagum, Camilo, 1997. "A New Approach to the Decomposition of the Gini Income Inequality Ratio," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 515-531.
    5. Stephane Mussard, 2004. "The bidimensional decomposition of the Gini ratio. A case study: Italy," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(8), pages 503-505.
    6. Silber, Jacques, 1993. "Inequality Decomposition by Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 545-547, August.
    7. Chantreuil, F. & Trannoy, A., 1999. "Inequality Decomposition Values: the Trade-Off Between Marginality and Consistency," Papers 99-24, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
    8. Lerman, Robert I & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1985. "Income Inequality Effects by Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 151-156, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mussini, Mauro, 2013. "On decomposing inequality and poverty changes over time: A multi-dimensional decomposition," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 8-18.

    More about this item


    Gini index; Sen index; Source decomposition; Subgroup decomposition;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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