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On data: a case study of the evolution of income inequality across time and across countries

Atkinson, Anthony B. and Brandolini, A. (2009) On data: a case study of the evolution of income inequality across time and across countries. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 33 (3). pp. 381-404. ISSN 0309-166X

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Identification Number: 10.1093/cje/bel013


This paper takes income distribution as a case study of the role of data in economics. After describing the transformation which has taken place with regard to the availability of data on income inequality, it discusses how the comparability of these estimates is brought into question by differences in methodology that cannot be eliminated by simple adjustments. Recent analyses of the relationships between income inequality and growth or globalisation are shown to be based on time series plagued by discontinuities which can seriously affect regression results. The paper concludes by calling for greater attention to data quality in applied economics.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2009 The Author
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C8 - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs
D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution > D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2011 10:19
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2024 19:21

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