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Measuring inequality by counting 'complaints': theory and empirics

Devooght, Kurt (2002) Measuring inequality by counting 'complaints': theory and empirics. DARP, 59. Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

This paper examines how people assess inequality of an income distribution and how inequality could be measured. We start from philosophical analysis of L Temkin who distinguishes nine plausible aspects of inequality. His approach is based on the concept of 'complaints' or distances between incomes. We examine the Temkin approach by means of the questionnaire-experimental method pioneered by Amiel and Cowell. We want to find out whether the aspects of equality have any plausibility for student respondents and if so, whether there are any aspects which are more appealing than others. Both the numerical and verbal responses show that a considerable majority of the respondents might be influenced by the intuitions included in the combination of the Weighted Additive Principle and the Average view of complaints. The questionnaire results also shed some light towards the Sequence and provide support for the poll result of the Temkin reports.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 2002 Kurt Devooght
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 59
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2008 09:28
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6559/

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