The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Inequality (Measurement)

  • F. A. Cowell
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_2117

Abstract

This article provides an overview of the key issues in inequality measurement and shows how theoretical concepts are related to practical judgements. The principal axioms of distributional analysis are used to show the social-welfare underpinnings of standard ranking principles and to derive families of inequality indices. Recent developments that focus on income differences and reference income levels are examined.

Keywords

Atkinson inequality index Coefficient of variation Generalized Lorenz curve Gini coefficient Index numbers Inequality (measurement) Lorenz curve Pen’s parade Poverty Poverty line Principle of transfers Ranking Relative deprivation Risk aversion Social-welfare function Theil, H. Well-being 

JEL Classifications

D63 E25 D3 
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Notes

Acknowledgments

My thanks go to Yoram Amiel, Tony Atkinson, Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, Kristof Bosmans, Udo Ebert, Giovanni Ko, Peter Lambert and Abigail McKnight, who made helpful comments on an earlier draft.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. A. Cowell
    • 1
  1. 1.