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Decomposing Inequality and Social Welfare Changes: The Use of Alternative Welfare Metrics

  • Creedy, John
  • Hérault, Nicolas

This paper presents two ‘non-welfarist’ approaches and one ‘welfarist’ approach to decompose changes in inequality and social welfare into three components: population, tax policy and labour supply effects. As an illustration, changes in inequality and in values of a social welfare function in Australia between 2001 and 2006 are examined. Inequality is first defined in non-welfarist terms as a function of disposable income: the independent judge places no value on leisure. Then this is modified to allow for evaluations using a weighted geometric mean of disposable income and leisure. This is seen to modify the evaluation of changes in important ways. Furthermore, the results are shown to be quite different from those obtained using a ‘welfarist’ evaluation in terms of money metric utility, where separate behavioural effects cannot be isolated.

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File URL: http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/handle/10063/2432
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Paper provided by Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance in its series Working Paper Series with number 2432.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwcpf:2432
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  7. Ericson, Peter & Flood, Lennart, 2009. "A Microsimulation Approach to an Optimal Swedish Income Tax," IZA Discussion Papers 4379, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb, 2005. "Measuring Welfare Changes In Labour Supply Models," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 73(6), pages 664-685, December.
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  12. BOADWAY, R. & MARCHAND, M. & PESTIEAU, P. & del MAR RACIONERO, M., 2001. "Optimal redistribution with heterogeneous preferences for leisure," CORE Discussion Papers 2001025, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  13. Blackorby, Charles & Laisney, Francois & Schmachtenberg, Rolf, 1993. "Reference-price-independent welfare prescriptions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 63-76, January.
  14. repec:adr:anecst:y:2011:i:101-102:p:02 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino, 2006. "Designing Optimal Taxes with a Microeconometric Model of Household Labour Supply," Discussion Papers 475, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  16. F. Chantreuil & A. Trannoy, 1999. "Inequality decomposition values : the trade-off between marginality and consistency," THEMA Working Papers 99-24, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  17. Stanislav Kolenikov & Anthony Shorrocks, 2005. "A Decomposition Analysis of Regional Poverty in Russia," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 25-46, 02.
  18. Suman Seth, 2013. "A class of distribution and association sensitive multidimensional welfare indices," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(2), pages 133-162, June.
  19. Banks, James & Johnson, Paul, 1994. "Equivalence Scale Relativities Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 883-90, July.
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  21. FLEURBAEY, Marc & MANIQUET, François, 1998. "Optimal income taxation: and ordinal approach," CORE Discussion Papers 1998065, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  22. Donaldson, David, 1992. "On The Aggregation Of Money Measures Of Well-Being In Applied Welfare Economics," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 17(01), July.
  23. John Creedy & Nicolas Hérault & Guyonne Kalb, 2011. "Measuring welfare changes in behavioural microsimulation modelling: Accounting for the random utility component," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 14, pages 5-34, May.
  24. Ramani Gunatilaka & Duangkamon Chotikapanich, 2006. "Inequality Trends and Determinants in Sri Lanka 1980-2002: A Shapley Approach to Decomposition," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 6/06, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  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. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 2001. "Any Non-welfarist Method of Policy Assessment Violates the Pareto Principle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 281-286, April.
  27. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb & Rosanna Scutella, 2006. "Income distribution in discrete hours behavioural microsimulation models: An illustration," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 4(1), pages 57-76, April.
  28. John Creedy & Alan S. Duncan & Mark Harris & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "Microsimulation Modelling of Taxation and the Labour Market," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2796.
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