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Alternative Distributions for Inequality and Poverty Comparisons

  • Creedy, John

This paper provides an introductory review of the alternative possible income distributions which can be used when making cross-sectional evaluations of the effects of taxes and transfers using a household economic survey. This paper attempts to clarify the various alternatives, both for users of data and those wishing to interpret results. Special attention is given to the choice of income unit. The need to avoid spurious comparisons is stressed. The use of adult equivalence scales and the application of an explicit sharing rule are considered. Comparisons over time, where both the tax structure and the populations differ, are also considered. Numerical examples are used to highlight the alternative approaches and distributions.

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Paper provided by Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance in its series Working Paper Series with number 2851.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwcpf:2851
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Accounting & Commercial Law, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand
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  1. John Creedy & Nicolas Hérault, 2012. "Welfare-improving income tax reforms: a microsimulation analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(1), pages 128-150, January.
  2. Glewwe, Paul, 1991. "Household equivalence scales and the measurement of inequality : Transfers from the poor to the rich could decrease inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 211-216, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Jens Bonke & Martin Browning, 2003. "The Distribution of Well-Being and Income within the Household," CAM Working Papers 2003-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  5. Peter Ericson & Lennart Flood, 2012. "A Microsimulation Approach to an Optimal Swedish Income Tax," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 2(5), pages 2-21.
  6. André Decoster & Peter Haan, 2010. "Empirical Welfare Analysis in Random Utility Models of Labour Supply," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1074, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. John Creedy & Catherine Sleeman, 2005. "Adult Equivalence Scales, Inequality and Poverty," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 938, The University of Melbourne.
  8. John Creedy, 1997. "Inequality, mobility and income distribution comparisons," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 18(3), pages 293-302, August.
  9. Anthony Shorrocks, 2004. "Inequality and welfare evaluation of heterogeneous income distributions," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 193-218, July.
  10. Shorrocks, Anthony, 2004. "Inequality and Welfare Evaluation of Heterogeneous Income Distributions," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  11. John Creedy & Nicolas Hérault†, 2011. "Decomposing Inequality and Social Welfare Changes : The Use of Alternative Welfare Metrics," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1121, The University of Melbourne.
  12. Olivier Bargain, 2010. "Back to the future - decomposition analysis of distributive policies using behavioural simulations," Working Papers 201032, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  13. André Decoster & Erwin Ooghe, 2002. "Weighting with individuals, equivalent individuals, or not weighting at all. Does it matter empirically?," Public Economics Working Paper Series ces0215, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
  14. John Creedy & Rosanna Scutella, 2004. "The Role of The Unit of Analysisin Tax Policy Return Evaluations of Inequality and Social Welfare," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(1), pages 89-108, March.
  15. 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.
  16. John Creedy, 1996. "Measuring Income Inequality," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 29(2), pages 236-246.
  17. David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Rising Inequality? Changes in the Distribution of Income and Consumption in the 1980s," NBER Working Papers 3964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. John Creedy, 1999. "Taxation, Redistribution and Progressivity: An Introduction," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 32(4), pages 410-422.
  19. 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.
  20. Creedy, John, 1997. "Lifetime Inequality and Tax Progressivity with Alternative Income Concepts," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(3), pages 283-95, September.
  21. J. E. Stiglitz, 1999. "Introduction," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 28(3), pages 249-254, November.
  22. Lazear, Edward P. & Michael, Robert T., 1988. "Allocation of Income within the Household," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226469669.
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