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Ungrouping Income Distributions: Synthesising Samples for Inequality and Poverty Analysis

  • Shorrocks, Anthony
  • Wan, Guanghua

We describe a new method of facilitating inequality and poverty analysis of grouped distributional data by allowing individual income observations to be reconstructed from any feasible grouping pattern. In contrast to earlier methods, our procedure ensures that the characteristics of the synthetic sample exactly match the reported values. The performance of the algorithm is evaluated first by using household survey records to compare true income observations with their synthetic counterparts, then by comparing the true and generated values of the Gini coefficient and other inequality indices. The results indicate that the new technique is capable of reproducing individual data from grouped statistics with a high degree of accuracy.

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Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number RP2008/16.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2008-16
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  1. Chotikapanich, Duangkamon & Griffiths, William E. & Rao, D. S. Prasada, 2007. "Estimating and Combining National Income Distributions Using Limited Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 97-109, January.
  2. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 2002. "Inequality Among World Citizens: 1820-1992," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 727-744, September.
  3. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The world distribution of income (estimated from individual country distributions)," Economics Working Papers 615, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2002.
  4. Davies, James B. & Sandstrom, Susanna & Shorrocks, Anthony & Wolff, Edward N., 2007. "Estimating the Level and Distribution of Global Household Wealth," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  5. Kolenikov, Stanislav & Shorrocks, Anthony, 2003. "A Decomposition Analysis of Regional Poverty in Russia," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. McDonald, James B, 1984. "Some Generalized Functions for the Size Distribution of Income," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 647-63, May.
  7. DAVIES, JAMES B & Shorrocks, Anthony & Sandstrom, Susanna & WOLFF, EDWARD N, 2007. "The World Distribution of Household Wealth," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt3jv048hx, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
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