A spatial decomposition of the Gini coefficient

  • Sergio J. Rey
  • Richard J. Smith
Original Paper


The paper introduces a spatial decomposition of the Gini coefficient that supports the detection of spatial autocorrelation conjointly with an indicator of overall inequality. An additive pairwise decomposition based on a spatial weights matrix partitions inequality between observations that are geographically neighbors and those that are not. A framework for inference on the spatial decomposition is also suggested. The statistical properties of the decomposition measure are evaluated in a Monte Carlo simulation and an empirical illustration involving per capita income inequality in the US states is also provided.


Spatial inequality Spatial autocorrelation 

JEL Classification

R1 D63 R12 C15 C63 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and ComputationSchool of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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