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Inequality: Advanced Topics. Inequality and Poverty Measurement Technical University of Lisbon Frank Cowell http://darp.lse.ac.uk/lisbon2006. July 2006. Overview. Inequality: Advanced Topics. Introduction. Themes and methodology. Deprivation. Deprivation. Complaints.

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## Inequality: Advanced Topics

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**Inequality: Advanced Topics**Inequality and Poverty Measurement Technical University of Lisbon Frank Cowell http://darp.lse.ac.uk/lisbon2006 July 2006**Overview...**Inequality: Advanced Topics Introduction Themes and methodology Deprivation Deprivation Complaints**Purpose of lecture**• We will look at recent theoretical developments in distributional analysis • Consider some linked themes • alternative approaches to inequality • related welfare concepts • Use ideas from sociology and philosophy • Focus on the way modern methodology is applied**Overview...**Deprivation, complaints, inequality Introduction An alternative approach Deprivation Deprivation Complaints**Responsibility**• Standard approach to case for redistribution • Use reference point of equality • How effective is tax/benefit system in moving actual distribution toward reference point? • Does not take account of individual responsibility • Role of individual actions • The responsibility “cut” • Dworkin (1981a, 1981b) • Distinguish between • things that are your fault • things for which you deserve compensation**Responsibility and redistribution**• Should affect the evaluation of distributions • Both case for redistribution... • ... and effectiveness of taxation. • Need to differentiate between • characteristics for which people can be held responsible • characteristics for which people should not • Assume that these characteristics are known and agreed...**Basic structure**• Each person i has a vector of attributes ai: • Attributes partitioned into two classes • R-attributes: for which the individual is responsible • C-attributes: for which the individual may be compensated • Situation before intervention: • Determined by income function f • f maps attributes into incomes f(ai) • Only person i’s attributes involved • Situation after intervention: • Determined by distribution rule F • Has similar flavour to claims problem**Distribution rule**• The rule F: • depends on whole profile of attributes • maps the attributes into income of i. • Assume feasibility: • Also assume that the rule F is anonymous Profile of attributes • But what other principles should the rule F satisfy?**Responsibility: Principle EIER**• Bossert and Fleurbaey (1996) • Equal Income for Equal Responsibility • Focus on distribution itself • Full compensation**Responsibility: Principle ETEC**• Equal Transfers for Equal C-attributes • Focus on changes in distribution • Strict Compensation**A difficulty**• For large populations... • EIER and ETEC are incompatible except for... • Additive separability: • Fleurbaey (1995a,b) • In this special case... • ...a natural redistribution mechanism Consider two compromise approaches**Compromise (1)**• Insist on Full compensation (EIER) • Weaken ETEC • Egalitarian-equivalent mechanisms Reference profile • Every agent has a post-tax income equal to • the pre-tax income earned given reference compensation characteristics plus... • a uniform transfer**Compromise (2)**• Insist on strict compensation (ETEC) • Weaken EIER • Conditionally egalitarian mechanisms Reference profile • Every agent k is guaranteed the average income of a hypothetical economy • In this economy all agents have characteristics equal to reference profile**Application**• The responsibility approach gives a reference income distribution • Exact version depends on balance of compensation rules • And on income function f. • Redefine inequality measurement • not based on perfect equality as a norm • use the norm income distribution from the responsibility approach • Devooght (2005) bases this on Cowell (1985) • Cowell approach based on Theil’s conditional entropy • Instead of looking at information content in going from perfect equality to actual distribution... • Start from the reference distribution**Overview...**Deprivation, complaints, inequality Introduction An economic interpretation of a sociological concept Deprivation Deprivation Complaints**Individual deprivation**• The Yitzhaki (1979) definition • Equivalent form • In present notation • Use the conditional mean**Deprivation: Axiomatic approach 1**• The Better-than set for i • Focus • works like the poverty concept**Deprivation: Axiomatic approach 2**• Normalisation • Additivity • works like the independence axiom**Bossert-D’Ambrosio (2004)**• This is just the Yitzhaki individual deprivation index • There is an alternative axiomatisation • Ebert-Moyes (Economics Letters 2000) • Different structure of reference group**Aggregate deprivation**• Simple approach: just sum individual deprivation • Could consider an ethically weighted variant • Chakravarty and Chakraborty (1984) • Chakravarty and Mukherjee (1999b) • As with poverty consider relative as well as absolute indices…**Aggregate deprivation (2)**• An ethically weighted relative index • Chakravarty and Mukherjee (1999a) • One based on the generalised-Gini • Duclos and Grégoire (2002)**Overview...**Deprivation, complaints, inequality Introduction Reference groups and distributional judgments Deprivation Deprivation Complaints • Model • Inequality results • Rankings and welfare**The Temkin approach**• Larry Temkin (1986, 1993) approach to inequality • Unconventional • Not based on utilitarian welfare economics • But not a complete “outlier” • Common ground with other distributional analysis • Poverty • deprivation • Contains the following elements: • Concept of a complaint • The idea of a reference group • A method of aggregation**What is a “complaint?”**• Individual’s relationship with the income distribution • The complaint exists independently • does not depend on how people feel • does not invoke “utility” or (dis)satisfaction • Requires a reference group • effectively a reference income • a variety of specifications • see also Devooght (2003)**Types of reference point**• BOP • The Best-Off Person • Possible ambiguity if there is more than one • By extension could consider the best-off group • AVE • The AVErage income • Obvious tie-in with conventional inequality measures • A conceptual difficulty for those above the mean? • ATBO • All Those Better Off • A “conditional” reference point**Aggregation**• The complaint is an individual phenomenon. • How to make the transition from this to society as a whole? • Temkin makes two suggestions: • Simple sum • Just add up the complaints • Weighted sum • Introduce distributional weights • Then sum the weighted complaints**The BOP Complaint**• Let r(x) be the first richest person you find in N. • Person r (and higher) has income xn. • For “lower” persons, natural definition of complaint: • Similar to fundamental difference for poverty: • Now we replace “p” with “r”**BOP-Complaint: Axiomatisation**• Use same structural axioms as before. Plus… • Monotonicity: income increments reduce complaint • Independence • Normalisation**Overview...**Deprivation, complaints, inequality Introduction A new approach to inequality Deprivation Deprivation Complaints • Model • Inequality results • Rankings and welfare**Implications for inequality**• Broadly two types of axioms with different roles. • Axioms on structure: • use these to determine the “shape” of the measures. • Transfer principles and properties of measures: • use these to characterise ethical nature of measures**A BOP-complaint class**• The Cowell-Ebert (SCW 2004) result • Similarity of form to FGT • Characterises a family of distributions …**The transfer principle**• Do BOP-complaint measures satisfy the transfer principle? • If transfer is from richest, yes • But if transfers are amongst hoi polloi, maybe not • Cowell-Ebert (SCW 2004): • Look at some examples that satisfy this**Inequality contours**• To examine the properties of the derived indices… • …take the case n = 3 • Draw contours of T–inequality • Note that both the sensitivity parameter and the weights w are of interest…**Inequality contours (e=2)**• Now change the weights… w1=0.5 w2=0.5**Inequality contours (e=2)**w1=0.75 w2=0.25**Inequality contours (e = 1)**w1=0.75 w2=0.25**Inequality contours (e = 0)**• Again change the weights… w1=0.5 w2=0.5**Inequality contours (e = –1)**w1=0.75 w2=0.25**Inequality contours (e = –1)**w1=0.5 w2=0.5**Special cases**“triangles” • If then inequality just becomes the range, xn–x1 . • If – then inequality just becomes the “upper-middle class” complaint: xn–xn-1 . • If = 1 then inequality becomes a generalised absolute Gini. “Y-shapes” Hexagons**A**28 30 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 B 28 30 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Which is more unequal?**A**28 30 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 B 28 30 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Focus on one type of BOP complaint**A**28 30 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Orthodox approach B 28 30 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26**The “sequence”**• Temkin’s seminal contributions offer an intuitive approach to considering changes in inequality. • Take a simple model of a ladder with just two rungs. • The rungs are fixed, but the numbers on them are not. • Initially everyone is on the upper rung. • Then, one by one, people are transferred to the lower rung. • Start with m = 0 on lower rung • Carry on until m = n on lower rung • What happens to inequality? • Obviously zero at the two endpoints of the sequence • But in between?**The “sequence” (2)**• For the case of T–inequality we have • This is increasing in m if > 0 • For other cases there is a degenerate sequence in the same direction**Overview...**Deprivation, complaints, inequality Introduction A replacement for the Lorenz order? Deprivation Deprivation Complaints • Model • Inequality results • Rankings and welfare**Rankings**• Move beyond simple inequality measures • The notion of complaint can also be used to generate a ranking principle that can be applied quite generally. • This is rather like the use of Lorenz curves to specify a Lorenz ordering that characterises inequality comparisons. • Also similar to poverty rankings with arbitrary poverty lines.**K(x)**i/n r(x) / n Cumulative complaints • Define cumulative complaints • Gives the CCC • cumulative-complaint contour • Just like TIP / Poverty profile • Use this to get a ranking principle

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