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See detailThe fall in income inequality during COVID-19 in four European countries
Clark, Andrew; d'Ambrosio, Conchita UL; Lepinteur, Anthony UL

in Journal of Economic Inequality (in press)

We here use panel data from the COME-HERE survey to track income inequality during COVID-19 in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Relative inequality in equivalent household disposable income among ... [more ▼]

We here use panel data from the COME-HERE survey to track income inequality during COVID-19 in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Relative inequality in equivalent household disposable income among individuals changed in a hump-shaped way between January 2020 and January 2021, with an initial rise from January to May 2020 being more than reversed by September 2020. Absolute inequality also fell over this period. Due to the pandemic some households lost more than others, and government compensation schemes were targeted towards the poorest, implying that on average income differences decreased. Generalized Lorenz domination reveals that these distributive changes reduced welfare in Italy. [less ▲]

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See detailIncome and Wealth Volatility: Evidence from Italy and the U.S. in the Past Two Decades
Menta, Giorgia UL; Wolff, Edward; d'ambrosio, Conchita UL

in Journal of Economic Inequality (2021), 19(2), 293-313

Income volatility and wealth volatility are central objects of investigation for the literature on income and wealth inequality and dynamics. Here we analyse the two concepts in a comparative perspective ... [more ▼]

Income volatility and wealth volatility are central objects of investigation for the literature on income and wealth inequality and dynamics. Here we analyse the two concepts in a comparative perspective for the same individuals in Italy and the U.S. over the last two decades. We find that in both countries wealth volatility reaches significantly higher values than income volatility, the effect being mostly driven by changes in the market value of real estate assets. We also show that there is more volatility in both dimensions in the U.S. and that the overall trend in both countries is increasing over time. We conclude by exploring volatility in consumption. [less ▲]

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See detailAccounting for Differences in Income Inequality across Countries: Tax-benefit Policy, Labour Market Structure, Returns and Demographics
Sologon, Denisa UL; van Kerm, Philippe UL; Li, Jinjing et al

in Journal of Economic Inequality (2021), 19

This paper presents a framework for studying international differences in the distribution of household income. Integrating micro-econometric and micro-simulation approaches in a decomposition analysis ... [more ▼]

This paper presents a framework for studying international differences in the distribution of household income. Integrating micro-econometric and micro-simulation approaches in a decomposition analysis, it quantifies the role of tax-benefit systems, employment and occupational structures, labour and financial market returns, and demographic composition in accounting for differences in income inequality across countries. Building upon EUROMOD (the European tax-benefit calculator) and its harmonised datasets, the model is portable and can be implemented for cross-country comparisons between any participating country. An application to the UK and Ireland—two countries that have much in common while displaying different levels of inequality—shows that differences in tax benefit rules between the two countries account for roughly half of the observed difference in disposable household income inequality. Demographic differences play negligible roles. The Irish tax-benefit system is more redistributive than UK\textquoterights due to a higher tax progressivity and higher average transfer rates. These are largely attributable to policy parameter differences, but also to differences in pre-tax, pre-transfer income distributions. [less ▲]

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See detailLosing ground in the income hierarchy: relative deprivation revisited
D'Ambrosio, Conchita UL; Bossert, Walter

in Journal of Economic Inequality (2020), 18

The paper discusses a one-parameter generalization of individual relative deprivation measures to a two-period setting that differs from earlier approaches. The parameter is, by definition, independent of ... [more ▼]

The paper discusses a one-parameter generalization of individual relative deprivation measures to a two-period setting that differs from earlier approaches. The parameter is, by definition, independent of the income distributions under consideration—it is to be chosen by a social planner. Its value has an intuitive interpretation: it represents the additional weight assigned to the income shortfalls associated with agents who passed the individual in question when moving from yesterday’s income distribution to today’s. Therefore, the choice of this parameter represents an important value judgment on the part of a social planner regarding the relative impact of being left behind. As a special case, it is illustrated how the well-known Yitzhaki index can be extended to this environment. [less ▲]

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See detailA distribution-sensitive examination of the gender wage gap in Germany
Selezneva, Ekaterina; Van Kerm, Philippe UL

in Journal of Economic Inequality (2016), 14(1), 21-40

This paper provides a new examination of the gender pay gap for Germany based on a family of distribution-sensitive indicators. Wage distributions for men and women do not only differ by a fixed constant ... [more ▼]

This paper provides a new examination of the gender pay gap for Germany based on a family of distribution-sensitive indicators. Wage distributions for men and women do not only differ by a fixed constant; differences are more complex. We show that focusing on the bottom of the wage distribution reveals a larger gender gap. Our distribution-sensitive analysis can also be used to study whether the statistical disadvantage of women in average pay might be ‘offset’ by lower inequality. Over a broad range of plausible preferences over inequality, we show however that ‘inequality-adjusted’ estimates of the gap can be up to three times higher than standard inequality-neutral measures in Eastern Germany and up to fifty percent higher in Western Germany. Using preference parameters elicited from a hypothetical risky investment question in our sample, inequality-adjusted gender gap measures turn out to be close to those upper bounds. [less ▲]

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See detailRichness Orderings
D'Ambrosio, Conchita UL; Bose, Arup; Chakravarty, Satya

in Journal of Economic Inequality (2014), 12

An index of richness in a society is a measure of the extent of its affluence. This paper presents an analytical discussion on several indices of richness and their properties. It also develops criteria ... [more ▼]

An index of richness in a society is a measure of the extent of its affluence. This paper presents an analytical discussion on several indices of richness and their properties. It also develops criteria for ordering alternative distributions of income in terms of their richness. Given a line of richness, an income level above which a person is regarded as rich, and depending on the redistributive principle, it is shown that the ranking relation can be implemented by seeking dominance with respect to the generalized Lorenz curve of the rich or the affluence pro file of the society. When the line of richness is assumed to be variable, we need to employ the stochastic dominance conditions for ordering the income distributions. [less ▲]

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See detailPoverty and Time
D'Ambrosio, Conchita UL; Bossert, Walter; Chakravarty, Satya

in Journal of Economic Inequality (2012), 10

We examine the measurement of individual poverty in an intertemporal context. Our aim is to capture the importance of persistence in a state of poverty and we characterize a corresponding individual ... [more ▼]

We examine the measurement of individual poverty in an intertemporal context. Our aim is to capture the importance of persistence in a state of poverty and we characterize a corresponding individual intertemporal poverty measure. Our first axiom requires that intertemporal poverty is identical to static poverty in the degenerate single-period case. The remaining two properties express decomposability requirements within poverty spells and across spells in order to reflect the persistence issue. In addition, we axiomatize an aggregation procedure to obtain an intertemporal poverty measure for societies and we illustrate our new index with an application to EU countries. [less ▲]

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