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38
Democracy And Income Inequality: An Empirical Analysis
"... While standard political economy theories suggest a moderating effect of democratization on income inequality, empirical literature has failed to uncover any such robust relationship. Here we take yet another look at this issue arguing first, that prevailing ideology may be an important determinant ..."
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While standard political economy theories suggest a moderating effect of democratization on income inequality, empirical literature has failed to uncover any such robust relationship. Here we take yet another look at this issue arguing first, that prevailing ideology may be an important determinant of inequality and, second, that the democratization effect "works through" ideology. In societies where equality is highly valued there is less of a distributional conflict across income groups, hence democratization may have only a negligible effect on inequality. On the other hand, in societies where equality is not valued as much, democratization reduces inequality through redistribution as the poor outvote the rich. Our crosscountry empirical analysis, covering the period 196098 and 126 countries, confirms the hypothesis: ideology  as proxied by a country's dominant religion  seems to be related to inequality. But, in addition, in JudeoChristian societies increased democratization appears to lead to lower inequality, while in Muslim and Confucian societies democratization has only an insignificant effect on inequality. We hypothesize that in the latter group of countries, desired level of inequality is reached through informal transfers, while in JudeoChristian societies where family ties are weaker, desired outcome is achieved by political action.
Poverty, Inequality and Environmental Resources: Quantitative Analysis of Rural Households,” Working Paper Series 999. Centre for the Studies of African Economies
, 1999
"... Abstract: Rural households have been suspected to rely heavily on goods and services freely provided by environmental resources. However, there has been no adequate quantitative analysis of this issue due to a lack of appropriate household data sets encompassing economic and environmental data. We u ..."
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Abstract: Rural households have been suspected to rely heavily on goods and services freely provided by environmental resources. However, there has been no adequate quantitative analysis of this issue due to a lack of appropriate household data sets encompassing economic and environmental data. We use a purposecollected 213 household data set from rural Zimbabwe to investigate the impact of incorporating this missing source of household welfare on quantitative analysis of the measurement and causes of rural poverty and inequality. Incorporating environmental income in the household accounts results in dramatic and significant reductions in measured poverty, 50 percent or more over income as conventionally measured. Environmental income is also strongly and significantly equalising, bringing about roughly a 30 percent reduction in measured inequality. So access to commons resources has a substantial impact on poverty and inequality. However, including the value of environmental utilisations leaves analysis of the causes of rural differentiation unchanged: these resources do not alleviate the poverty trap.
An axiomatic characterization of the Theil measure in income inequality
 Journal of Economic Theory
, 1983
"... This paper provides a characterization of a frequently used measure of income inequality. It has been known for some time that the Theil measure of income inequality (1) is consistent with the Lorenz criterion, when it applies, and (2) exhibits a simple and empirically useful decomposition by popula ..."
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This paper provides a characterization of a frequently used measure of income inequality. It has been known for some time that the Theil measure of income inequality (1) is consistent with the Lorenz criterion, when it applies, and (2) exhibits a simple and empirically useful decomposition by population subgroup into withingroup and betweengroup terms. The major theorem establishes the converse: the decomposability property defines the Theil measure uniquely (up to a positive multiple) among all Lorenzconsistent measures. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Number: 024. I.
Distributional Effects of Public Education in an Economy with Public Pensions
 International Economic Review
, 2003
"... We study how the allocation of government expenditures between two major outlayseducation and payasyougo social securityaffects human capital distribution in an economy with heterogeneous agents. We consider an overlapping generations economy where the government maintains both programs, and ..."
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We study how the allocation of government expenditures between two major outlayseducation and payasyougo social securityaffects human capital distribution in an economy with heterogeneous agents. We consider an overlapping generations economy where the government maintains both programs, and allocates tax revenues to finance them. In our model, human capital is one of the factors of production. It is itself produced as a combined result of public inputs and private inputs. Parents ' decisions to invest time and material resources in education of their children are motivated by altruism, heterogeneous in its strength across the population, which leads to heterogeneity of incomes. We investigate the effect of an increase in public funding for education on the human capital distribution. We show that in this framework, contrary to some earlier results, increased spending on public education may lead to higher inequality. Our results depend crucially on the interaction of education funding with the social security budget and on the elasticity of substitution in the learning technology.
A general approach to sparse basis selection: Majorization, concavity, and affine scaling
 IN PROCEEDINGS OF THE TWELFTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON COMPUTATIONAL LEARNING THEORY
, 1997
"... Measures for sparse best–basis selection are analyzed and shown to fit into a general framework based on majorization, Schurconcavity, and concavity. This framework facilitates the analysis of algorithm performance and clarifies the relationships between existing proposed concentration measures use ..."
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Measures for sparse best–basis selection are analyzed and shown to fit into a general framework based on majorization, Schurconcavity, and concavity. This framework facilitates the analysis of algorithm performance and clarifies the relationships between existing proposed concentration measures useful for sparse basis selection. It also allows one to define new concentration measures, and several general classes of measures are proposed and analyzed in this paper. Admissible measures are given by the Schurconcave functions, which are the class of functions consistent with the socalled Lorentz ordering (a partial ordering on vectors also known as majorization). In particular, concave functions form an important subclass of the Schurconcave functions which attain their minima at sparse solutions to the best basis selection problem. A general affine scaling optimization algorithm obtained from a special factorization of the gradient function is developed and proved to converge to a sparse solution for measures chosen from within this subclass.
From Theil, Inequality and the Structure of Income Distribution
 STICERD, Discussion Paper DARP 67
, 2003
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Indicators of Inequality and Poverty
, 2004
"... This essay aims at a broad, mainstream account of the literature on inequality and poverty measurement in the space of income and, additionally, deals with measures of disparity and deprivation in the more expanded domain of capabilities and functionings. In addition to an introductory and a conclu ..."
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This essay aims at a broad, mainstream account of the literature on inequality and poverty measurement in the space of income and, additionally, deals with measures of disparity and deprivation in the more expanded domain of capabilities and functionings. In addition to an introductory and a concluding part, the paper has four sections. The first of these, on measurement of income inequality, deals with preliminary concepts and definitions; a visual representation of inequality (the Lorenz curve); realvalued indices of inequality; properties of inequality indices; some specific inequality measures; and the relationship between Lorenz, welfare, and inequality orderings. The second section, on poverty, deals with the identification and aggregation exercises; properties of poverty indices; some specific poverty measures; the problem of plurality and unambiguous rankings; poverty measures and antipoverty policy; and other issues in the measurement of poverty. The third section considers aspects of both congruence and conflict in the relationship amongst poverty, inequality, and welfare. The final substantive section advances the rationale for a more comprehensive assessment of human wellbeing than is afforded by the income perspective, it briefly reviews measurement concerns relating to generalized indices of deprivation and disparity, and it discusses the data and policy implications of the more expansive view of wellbeing adopted in the section.
Characterizing inequality equivalence criteria
, 2003
"... We introduce an axiomatic framework to analyze the perception of inequality across distributions with different total income. The main result is the characterization of a new two parameters generalized version of the inequality equivalence criterion (IEC), the Flexible IEC (FIE). This criterion is a ..."
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We introduce an axiomatic framework to analyze the perception of inequality across distributions with different total income. The main result is the characterization of a new two parameters generalized version of the inequality equivalence criterion (IEC), the Flexible IEC (FIE). This criterion is able to encompass all the most used criteria of inequality equivalence and is sufficiently flexible to provide a perception consistent with recent evidence from questionnaire investigations, namely that the inequality perception goes from the relative view (focussing on income shares) to the absolute view (focussing on absolute income differentials) as incomes increase. One parameter of the FIE is associated with the Bossert and Pfingsten (Math. Soc. Sc. 1990) Intermediate IEC (IIE) while the other is shown to lead to an alternative single parameter version of the IEC, the Proportional IEC which is dual to the previous. We provide independent characterizations both of PIE and IIE. Also alternative IECs existing in the literature are characterized within the axiomatic framework suggested. These results are consistent with those obtained in the surplus sharing literature by Moulin (Int. J. Game Theory 1987), Young (Math. Op.
Why Measure Inequality?
"... A large body of literature is devoted to the measurement of income inequality, yet little attention is given to the question, Why measure inequality? However, the reasons for measurement bear importantly on whether and how measurement should be done. Upon examination, normative measures are found to ..."
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A large body of literature is devoted to the measurement of income inequality, yet little attention is given to the question, Why measure inequality? However, the reasons for measurement bear importantly on whether and how measurement should be done. Upon examination, normative measures are found to be of questionable value. Descriptive measures, by contrast, may be useful, but the appropriate measure depends on the field of application rather than on general, a priori principles of the sort that are emphasized in the existing measurement literature. Measures of poverty are also considered, and similar conclusions are reached.
Theil, inequality indices and decomposition
 ECINEQ WP
, 2005
"... Theil’s approach to the measurement of inequality is set in the context of subsequent developments over recent decades. It is shown that Theil’s initial insight leads naturally to a very general class of decomposable inequality measures. It is thus closely related to a number of other commonly used ..."
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Theil’s approach to the measurement of inequality is set in the context of subsequent developments over recent decades. It is shown that Theil’s initial insight leads naturally to a very general class of decomposable inequality measures. It is thus closely related to a number of other commonly used families of inequality measures. 1.