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The construction and interpretation of combined cross-section and time-series inequality datasets

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  • Francois, Joseph F.
  • Rojas-Romagosa, Hugo

Abstract

The inequality dataset compiled in the 1990s by the World Bank and extended by the United Nations has been both widely used and strongly criticized. The criticisms raise questions about conclusions drawn from secondary inequality datasets in general. The authors develop techniques to deal with national and international comparability problems intrinsic to such datasets. The result is a new dataset of consistent inequality series, allowing them to explore problems of measurement error. In addition, the new data allow the authors to perform parametric non-linear estimation of Lorenz curves from grouped data. This in turn allows them to estimate the entire income distribution, computing alternative inequality indexes and poverty estimates. Finally, the authors use their broadly comparable dataset to examine international patterns of inequality and poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Francois, Joseph F. & Rojas-Romagosa, Hugo, 2005. "The construction and interpretation of combined cross-section and time-series inequality datasets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3748, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3748
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean‐Marie Viaene & Itzhak Zilcha, 2009. "Human Capital and Inequality Dynamics: The Role of Education Technology," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(304), pages 760-778, October.
    2. Hugo Rojas-Romagosa & J.F. Francois, 2008. "Reassessing the relationship between inequality and development," CPB Discussion Paper 107.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    3. J. Francois & H. Rojas-Romagosa, 2004. "Trade Policy and the Household Distribution of Income," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-051/2, Tinbergen Institute, revised 15 Jun 2004.
    4. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2006. "Growth, inequality, and poverty in Spain, 1850-2000: evidence and speculation," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp06-04, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    5. Guillermo Lezama & Henry Willebald, 2020. "Inequality in Pre‐Income Survey Times: A Methodological Proposal," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(4), pages 931-957, December.
    6. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2007. "Inequality, poverty, and the Kuznets curve In Spain, 1850-2000," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp07-13, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    7. Axel Dreher & Noel Gaston, 2008. "Has Globalization Increased Inequality?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 516-536, August.
    8. Carmen Fillat & Joseph Francois, 2004. "National and international income dispersion and aggregate expenditures," Documentos de Trabajo dt2004-06, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
    9. Raileanu Szeles, Monica, 2014. "A Multidimensional Approach to the Inclusiveness of economic Growth in the New Member States," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(2), pages 5-24, June.
    10. Michael A. Nelson & Rajeev K. Goel, 2021. "Does Gender Equality Translate into Economic Equality? Evidence from about 150 Nations," CESifo Working Paper Series 8949, CESifo.
    11. Martin Gassebner & Noel Gaston & Michael J Lamla, 2008. "Relief For The Environment? The Importance Of An Increasingly Unimportant Industrial Sector," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(2), pages 160-178, April.
    12. Bas van Leeuwen & Peter Foldvari, 2012. "The development of inequality and poverty in Indonesia, 1932-1999," Working Papers 0026, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    13. Thomas Goda, 2013. "Changes in income inequality from a global perspective: An overview," Working Papers PKWP1303, Post Keynesian Economics Society (PKES).
    14. Hugo Rojas-Romagosa & J.F. Francois, 2008. "Reassessing the relationship between inequality and development," CPB Discussion Paper 107, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    15. Jan Luiten van Zanden & Joerg Baten & Peter Foldvari & Bas van Leeuwen, 2011. "The Changing Shape of Global Inequality - exploring a new dataset," Working Papers 0001, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    16. Jan Luiten Zanden & Joerg Baten & Peter Foldvari & Bas Leeuwen, 2014. "The Changing Shape of Global Inequality 1820–2000; Exploring a New Dataset," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(2), pages 279-297, June.
    17. Rabindra Bhandari & Gyan Pradhan & Mukti Upadhyay, 2010. "Another empirical look at the Kuznets curve," International Journal of Business and Economic Sciences Applied Research (IJBESAR), International Hellenic University (IHU), Kavala Campus, Greece (formerly Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology - EMaTTech), vol. 3(2), pages 7-19, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Services&Transfers to Poor; Economic Theory&Research; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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