in World Development: the Multi-Disciplinary International Journal Devoted to the Study and Promotion of World Development (in press)
We investigate the impact of three large-scale social-protection schemes in Ethiopia, India, and Peru on multidimensional poverty. Using data from the Young Lives cohort study, we show the trend, changes and evolution of multidimensional poverty for individuals in program participant households. We follow a number of strategies to produce estimates that deal with non-random program placement. Our findings show that both the incidence and intensity of multidimensional poverty declined in all three countries over the period 2006 - 2016, more so for program participants than non-participants. We find positive short-term impact on asset formation, livestock holding, and some living standard indicators. In all three countries these positive impacts are sustained even in the medium and longer-term.
in Journal of Mathematical Economics (in press)
We present a unified approach to the design of social index numbers. Our starting point is a model that employs an exogenously given partition of the population into subgroups. Three classes of group-dependent measures of deprivation are characterized. The three groups are nested and, beginning with the largest of these, we narrow them down by successively adding two additional axioms. This leads to a parameterized class the members of which are based on the differences between the income (or wealth) levels of an individual and those who are better off. We then proceed to show that our measures are sufficiently general to accommodate a plethora of indices, including measures of inequality and polarization as well as distance-based measures of phenomena such as diversity and fractionalization.
in Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology (in press)
We use annual data on over 150 countries between 2005 and 2018 to look at the relationship between subjective well-being (both cognitive and affective) and the Human Development Index (HDI). The HDI appears to be more closely related to cognitive than affective well-being. We also consider the relationships between the three HDI components (the Income, Health and Education Indices) and well-being, and find that, on average, the Income Index has the strongest predictive power. Importantly, we find that the three HDI components only matter equally in Western and rich countries. Our analysis contributes to the discussion about cultural sensitivity in paradigms of societal development in two ways. We first show that differences in preferences towards development aims exist. Second, we propose a weighting procedure for a culturally-sensitive version of the HDI.
in Economics Letters (in press)
This paper examines the empirical relationship between individuals’ cognitive and non-cognitive abilities and COVID-19 compliance behaviors using cross-country data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). We find that both cognitive and non-cognitive skills predict responsible health behaviors during the COVID-19 crisis. Episodic memory is the most important cognitive skill, while conscientiousness and neuroticism are the most significant personality traits. There is also some evidence of a role for an internal locus of control in compliance.
in Information Technology and People (in press)
Purpose – The authors track the well-being of individuals across five European countries during the course of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and relate their well-being to working from home. The authors also consider the role of pandemic-policy stringency in affecting well-being in Europe. Design/methodology/approach – The authors have four waves of novel harmonised longitudinal data in France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Sweden, covering the period May–November 2020. Well-being is measured in five dimensions: life satisfaction, a worthwhile life, loneliness, depression and anxiety. A retrospective diary indicates whether the individual was working in each month since February 2020 and if so whether at home or not at home. Policy stringency is matched in per country at the daily level. The authors consider both cross- section and panel regressions and the mediating and moderating effects of control variables, including household variables and income. Findings – Well-being among workers is lower for those who work from home, and those who are not working have the lowest well-being of all. The panel results are more mitigated, with switching into working at home yielding a small drop in anxiety. The panel and cross-section difference could reflect adaptation or the selection of certain types of individuals into working at home. Policy stringency is always negatively correlated with well-being. The authors find no mediation effects. The well-being penalty from working at home is larger for the older, the better-educated, those with young children and those with more crowded housing. Originality/value – The harmonised cross-country panel data on individuals’ experiences during COVID-19 are novel. The authors relate working from home and policy stringency to multiple well-being measures. The authors emphasise the effect of working from home on not only the level of well-being but also its distribution.
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 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.
Poster (2021, May 21)
in Willems, Helmut Erich; Samuel, Robin; Vögele, Claus; Heinen, Andreas (Eds.) Well-being and health-related behavior of adolescents. Disciplinary concepts, empirical findings, international perspectives, and practical approaches (working title) (2021)
in Willems, Helmut Erich; Samuel, Robin; Vögele, Claus; Heinen, Andreas (Eds.) Well-being and health-related behavior of adolescents. Disciplinary concepts, empirical findings, international perspectives, and practical approaches (working title) (2021)
in Journal of Economic Inequality (2021), 19
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.
in Gradín, Carlos; Leibbrandt, Murray; Tarp, Finn (Eds.) Inequality in the Developing World (2021)
We use repeated cross-section data from the Afrobarometer, Asianbarometer Latinobarometer, and Eurobarometer to analyse the variables that are correlated with current and future evaluations of standards of living. We consider resource comparisons (the gap in resources between richer and poorer individuals) and the normative evaluation of distribution (conditional on these gaps), given by the Gini coefficient. The ‘typical’ pattern of a negative effect of gaps on the better-off but a positive effect of gaps on the worse-off is found only in Europe: gaps for the better-off in Africa and America have no correlation with current life evaluations and are associated with more positive expectations of the future. There is no positive estimated coefficient for gaps to the worse-off in Asia. The Gini coefficient is negatively correlated with current life evaluation only in Asia. On the contrary, future life evaluations are more positive in more unequal countries in Africa and America.
in Scandinavian Journal of Economics (2021), 123
We here consider the link between individual financial profiles over time and well-being, as measured by life satisfaction. We in particular look at annual self-reported financial worsening and improvement information for over 25,000 individuals in Australian panel data from 2002 to 2017. We first find that satisfaction falls (rises) with a contemporaneous major financial worsening (improvement), with the the largest correlation being with financial worsening. Second, the experience of these financial events in the past continues to be linked to current well-being. Last, only the order of financial-improvement spells relates to well-being: a given number of past years where finances deteriorated has the same association with current well-being whether the deterioration occurred in one continuous spell or was interrupted. We last show that these associations are heterogeneous over the distribution of well-being.
in Health Economics (2021), 30
We here consider the cognitive and non-cognitive consequences on young adults of growing up with a mother who reported experiencing major financial problems. We use UK data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children to show that early childhood financial problems are associated with worse adolescent cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes, controlling for both income and a set of standard variables, and in value-added models controlling for children’s earlier age-5 outcomes. The estimated effect of financial problems is almost always larger in size than that of income. Around one-quarter to one-half of the effect of financial problems on the non-cognitive outcomes seems to transit through mother’s mental health.
in Economics and Human Biology (2021), 41
We consider the effects of major prenatal economic shocks experienced by mothers on two indicators of newborn-infant health, birth weight and head circumference, using detailed microdata from the UK ALSPAC survey. Controlling for physiological and socioeconomic factors, an economic shock in the first 18 weeks of gestation lowers birth weight by 40-70 grams and head circumference by 2-3mm. We find evidence of transmission via poorer maternal health due to absolute material deprivation and tobacco and alcohol consumption, but not for the endocrinological effects of increased psychosocial anxiety. The fragile-male hypothesis holds for birth weight but not for head circumference, as predicted by recent theories on gender differences in prenatal development.
in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (2021), 183
We here consider the relationship between workplace gender measures and employees’ perceived job quality, where the former cover both the gender mix of workers with the same job title and the gender of the immediate boss. Data from the 2015 European Working Conditions Survey show that men’s job evaluation is higher in gender-balanced job positions at the workplace, while that of women is higher in either gender-balanced or male-dominated positions. The gender of the immediate boss plays no significant role in employee job evaluation. There is some evidence that these correlations differ by job-quality domains. We introduce co-worker support and help, gender discrimination, and unwanted sexual attention as possible mediators of the gender-mix correlations: these change the estimated coefficients only little. Our estimated correlations could therefore reflect a pure preference for job-position gender composition. Last, we use a bounding approach to show that our main results are robust to the potential influence of unobservables. Overall, job-position gender diversity is associated with higher worker well-being.
in Review of Income and Wealth (2021), 67
We examine some ordinal measures of inequality that are familiar from the literature. These measures have a quite simple structure in that their values are determined by combinations of specific summary statistics such as the extreme values and the arithmetic mean of a distribution. In spite of their common appearance, there seem to be no axiomatizations available so far, and this paper is intended to fill that gap. In particular, we consider the absolute and relative variants of the range; the max-mean and the mean-min orderings; and quantile-based measures. In addition, we provide some empirical observations that are intended to illustrate that, although these orderings are straightforward to define, some of them display a surprisingly high correlation with alternative (more complex) measures.
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 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.
in Social Indicators Research (2020), 148
We examine the complex relationship between money and happiness. We find that both permanent income and wealth are better predictors of life satisfaction than current income and wealth. They matter not only in absolute terms but also in comparative terms. However, their relative impacts differ. The first exerts a comparison effect – the higher the permanent income of the reference group, the lower life satisfaction – the second exerts an information effect – the higher the permanent wealth of the reference group, the higher life satisfaction. We also show that negative transitory shocks to income reduce life satisfaction while transitory shocks to wealth have no effect. Lastly, we analyse the effects of their components and find that not all of them predict life satisfaction: permanent taxes do not matter, while only the value of permanent real estate, financial and business assets do. Finally, we use quantile regression and analyse to what extent our results vary along the well-being distribution, finding the impacts to be larger at lower levels of life satisfaction.
in International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2020), 21
The role of twins in research is evolving as we move further into the post-genomic era. With the re-definition of what a gene is, it is becoming clear that biological family members who share a specific genetic variant may well not have a similar risk for future disease. This has somewhat invalidated the prior rationale for twin studies. Case co-twin study designs, however, are slowly emerging as the ideal tool to identify both environmentally induced epigenetic marks and epigenetic disease-associated processes. Here, we propose that twin lives are not as identical as commonly assumed and that the case co-twin study design can be used to investigate the effects of the adult social environment. We present the elements in the (social) environment that are likely to affect the epigenome and measures in which twins may diverge. Using data from the German TwinLife registry, we confirm divergence in both the events that occur and the salience for the individual start as early as age 11. Case co-twin studies allow for the exploitation of these divergences, permitting the investigation of the role of not only the adult social environment, but also the salience of an event or environment for the individual, in determining lifelong health trajectories. In cases like social adversity where it is clearly not possible to perform a randomised-controlled trial, we propose that the case cotwin study design is the most rigorous manner with which to investigate epigenetic mechanisms encoding environmental exposure. The role of the case co-twin design will continue to evolve, as we argue that it will permit causal inference from observational data.
in Journal of Economic Theory (2020), 189
Resilience has become an important topic in many social sciences. Numerous individual choices and economic and demographic outcomes are likely to be influenced by people’s resilience. School performance, work absenteeism and burnout, longevity, the quality of sleep and health-risk behaviors such as substance abuse are some examples. Similarly, it is of high policy relevance to understand the determinants of both individual resilience (such as educational, marital and occupational status) and ecological resilience (such as climate change). Empirical work designed to uncover such relationships suffers from the absence of a resilience measure applicable in the context of large data sets. We fill this gap by proposing a specific measure that is characterized by a set of natural properties. After an introduction to the notion of resilience and its attributes, we argue why these conditions have intuitive appeal. Finally, we provide illustrating examples and derive our main characterization result.
in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (2020), 176
This paper develops normative approaches for measuring individual-level income insecurity. Using concepts derived from Expected Utility Theory and Prospect Theory, we build a suite of measures designed to capture various facets of psychologically distressing income risk. We present an application for the US and Germany from 1993-2013, employing conditionally heteroskedastic fixed-effects models to generate predictive densities for future incomes. Our results reveal much higher levels of income risk in the US relative to Germany, which can be mostly attributed to a higher level of autonomous, time-invariant volatility. State-by-state variations in liberal/conservative political administrations partially explain our results, and we find some evidence that trade exposure is a contributing factor in the US.
in Dasgupta, Indraneel; Mitra, Manipushpak (Eds.) Deprivation, Inequality and Polarization: Essays in Honour of Satya Ranjan Chakravarty (2019)
This paper analyzes the effects of the inclusion of past experiences in measuring current material deprivation. The method followed generalizes the proposal of Bossert, Ceriani, Chakravarty and D'Ambrosio (2014) by adapting the class of indices on the measurement of poverty over time of Dutta, Roope and Zank (2013). An application to the analysis of material deprivation within EU countries is then provided. Following the path of material deprivation experienced by each individual over time yields a picture which differs from that in the annual results. Since the measurement of material deprivation is used by the EU member states and the European Commission to monitor national and EU progress in the fight against poverty and social exclusion, the results suggest that time cannot be neglected. Countries should not only be compared based on their year-by-year results, but additional information is gained by following individuals over time and producing an aggregate measure once dynamic considerations are taken into consideration.
in South African Journal of Economics (2019), 87
We here use five rounds of Afrobarometer data covering more than 100,000 individuals over the 2004-2016 period to explore the link between individual self-reported measures of living conditions and access to four basic needs. We not only consider own access to these needs, but also various indices of their deprivation, satisfaction and inequality. We find some evidence of comparisons to those who are better off and to those who are worse off, in terms of access to basic needs, in the evaluation of current living conditions. Overall, however, subjective living conditions are mostly absolute in African countries. There is notable heterogeneity by level of development, with the effect of lack of access to basic needs being more pronounced in poorer countries. Equally, comparisons to the better-off are associated with better living conditions in poorer countries, suggesting the existence of a tunnel effect: this latter disappears with economic development.
Article for general public (2019)
in Social Science and Medicine - Population Health (2019), 7
We here consider the relationship between the individual time profile of crime victimisation and sleep quality. Sleep quality worsens with contemporaneous crime victimisation, with physical violence having a larger effect than property crime. But crime history also matters, and past victimisation experience continues to reduce current sleep quality. Last, there is some evidence that the order of victimisation spells plays a role: consecutive years of crime victimisation affect sleep quality more adversely than the same number of years when not contiguous.
in Review of Income and Wealth (2019), 65(4), 785-803
An indicator of pro-poorness of a growth profile associated with a distribution of income is a measure of the extent to which growth is biased towards the poor. This paper proposes a general approach to pro-poorness, called the progressive sequential averaging principle (PSA), relaxing the requirement of rank preservation due to growth. An endogenous benchmark for evaluating the growth of poor comes out naturally from this principle. A dominance relation on the basis of the above approach for a class of growth profiles is introduced through a simple device, called the PSA curve and its properties are examined in relation to the standard dominances in terms of the generalized Lorenz curve and the inverse generalized Lorenz curve. The paper concludes with an application to evaluate growth profiles experienced by the United States between 2001-2007 and 2007-2013.
in Labour Economics (2018), 51
We here consider the effect of the level of income that individuals consider to be fair for the job they do, which we take as measure of comparison income, on both subjective well-being and objective future job quitting. In six waves of German Socio-Economic Panel data, the extent to which own labour income is perceived to be unfair is significantly negatively correlated with subjective well-being, both in terms of cognitive evaluations (life and job satisfaction) and affect (the frequency of feeling happy, sad and angry). Perceived unfairness also translates into objective labour-market behaviour, with current unfair income predicting future job quits.
in Economica (2018), 85
Scientific Conference (2017, June 29)
Introduction: The diabetes mellitus (DM) prevalence in Rwanda is estimated at 3.5%. In 2013, there were only one medical doctor and one nurse per 15,000 and 1,200 people respectively in Rwanda. A new programme employing frontline workers (Home-Based Community Practitioners (HBCPs)) is currently piloted, aiming at following-up patients with non-communicable diseases in their communities. We hypothesise that the management of DM at community level will improve following the introduction of a HBCP programme with regular monthly assessments and disease management, coupled with integration of a mobile health (mHealth) application with patient diaries, notifications and educational material. Objective: The aim of the study is to determine the efficacy of such an integrated programme in Rwanda. Methods: The study is designed as a one-year, open-label cluster trial of two interventions (arm1: HBCP programme, arm2: HBCP programme + mHealth application) and usual care (control). The primary outcomes will be changes in glycated haemoglobin levels and health-related quality of life. Mortality, complications, health literacy, mental well-being and treatment adherence will be assessed as secondary outcomes. Measurements will be conducted at baseline, 6 and 12 months. An intention-to-treat approach will be used to evaluate outcomes. Before trial onset, ethical approval will be sought in Rwanda, Luxembourg and Denmark, and a cross-cultural adaptation of questionnaires and a pilot will be carried out. Relevance: The project will provide evidence on the efficacy of innovative approaches for integrated management of DM and may spur the development of similar solutions for other chronic diseases in low-resource settings.
in Tachibanaki, Toshiaki (Ed.) Advances in Happiness Research: A Comparative Perspective (2016)
Traditional economic modeling has neglected the basic fact that individual well-being depends on one’s own life course and on comparisons with others. These assumptions have been challenged by an increasing number of contributions in the income-distribution literature on the measurement of individual well-being. These have proposed various indices which allow different aspects of past experiences to be brought into the analysis of the phenomenon under consideration. This chapter is a review of these measures with the aim of offering some guidance to the recent developments of the parallel literature on happiness.
in Health Economics (2016), 25
This paper identifies a family of absolute consistent inequality indices using a weakly decomposable postulate suggested by Ebert (2010). Since one member employs an Atkinson (1970) type aggregation we refer to it as the Atkinson index of consistent inequality. A second member of this family parallels the Kolm (1976) index of inequality. Two innovative features of these indices are that no specific structure is imposed on the form of the index at the outset and no transformation of any existing index is considered to ensure consistency. Each of them regards an achievement distribution as equally unequal as the corresponding shortfall distribution. We apply these indices to study inequality in grip strength among 50+ year-old Europeans.
in Social Choice and Welfare (2016), 46
We provide a characterization of a class of rank-mobility measures. These measures generalize the Kemeny measure that is well-known from the literature on measuring the distance between orderings. We use replication invariance to ensure that our measures are applicable in variable-population settings. The rank-based approach to mobility has a natural connection with the study of social status. Rank-based measures are widely applied in empirical research but their theoretical foundation is still in need of further investigation, and we consider our approach to be a contribution towards this objective.
in Review of Economics and Statistics (2016), 98
We consider the link between poverty and subjective well-being, and focus in particular on potential adaptation to poverty. We use panel data on almost 54,000 individuals living in Germany from 1985 to 2012 to show first that life satisfaction falls with both the incidence and intensity of contemporaneous poverty. We then reveal that there is little evidence of adaptation within a poverty spell: poverty starts bad and stays bad in terms of subjective well-being. We cannot identify any cause of poverty entry which explains the overall lack of poverty adaptation.
in Applied Research in Quality of Life (2016), 11
It is frequently hypothesized that feelings of social isolation are detrimental for an individual's mental health, however standard statistical models cannot estimate this effect due to reverse causality between the independent and dependent variables. In this paper we present endogeneity-corrected estimates of the mental health consequences of isolation (based on self-assessed loneliness scores) using Australian panel data. The central identification strategy comes from a natural source of variation where some people within our sample are required by work or study commitments to move home. This relocation may break individuals' social ties, resulting in significantly higher reported feelings of loneliness and consequently may lower mental health scores. The method gives results that are significant, robust and pass a battery of diagnostic tests. Estimates indicate that feelings of isolation have large negative consequences for psychological well-being, and that the effects are larger for women and older people. The results suggest that at current levels, a 10% reduction applied to all individuals would reduce annual expenditure on mental illness in Australia by approximately $3B AUD, or around $150 AUD per person.
in Atkinson, A.B.; Bourguignon, F. (Eds.) Handbook of Income Distribution (2015)
We review the findings in surveys and experiments from the literature on attitudes to income inequality. We interpret the latter as any disparity in incomes between individuals. We classify these contributions into two broad groups of individual attitudes to income distribution in a society: the normative and the comparative view. The first can be thought of as the individual's disinterested evaluation of income inequality; on the contrary, the second view reflects self-interest, as individual’s inequality attitudes depend not only on how much income they receive but also on how much they receive compared to others. We conclude with a number of extensions, outstanding issues and suggestions for future research.
in Wright, James (Ed.) International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition (2015)
in Journal of Public Economic Theory (2015), 17
We examine the measurement of social polarization with categorical and ordinal data. This is particularly useful in many contexts where cardinal data are not available. The new measures we propose are characterized axiomatically. We partition the society into groups on the basis of salient social characteristics, such as race and ethnicity, and we take into account the extent to which these groups are clustered in certain regions of an attribute’s distribution.
in SOLIDAR (Ed.) Progressive Structural Reforms. Proposals for European reforms to reduce inequalities and promote jobs, growth and social investment (2015)
in Research on Economic Inequality (2015), 23
We consider the link between poverty and subjective well-being, and focus in particular on the role of time. We use panel data on 49,000 individuals living in Germany from 1992 to 2012 to uncover three empirical relationships. First, life satisfaction falls with both the incidence and intensity of contemporaneous poverty. Second, poverty scars: those who have been poor in the past report lower life satisfaction today, even when out of poverty. Last, the order of poverty spells matters: for a given number of years in poverty, satisfaction is lower when the years are linked together. As such, poverty persistence reduces well-being. These effects differ by population subgroups.
in Michalos, A.C (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research (2014)
in Economics Letters (2014), 122
We propose and characterize a generalization of the classical linear index of individual deprivation based on income shortfalls. Unlike the original measure, our class allows for increases in the income of a higher-income individual to have a stronger impact on a person’s deprivation the closer they occur to the income of the individual whose deprivation is being assessed. The subclass of our measures with this property is axiomatized in our second result.
in Review of Income and Wealth (2014), 60(S1), 33-52
We estimate the distribution of economic insecurity in Italy and the USA using data from 1994 to 2010. Economic insecurity for each individual is assumed to depend on both current wealth and the changes in wealth that have been experienced in the past. The first element plays the role of the buffer stock that can be relied on in the case of an adverse future event. The second element reflects the individual's confidence in his ability to overcome any losses in the future. With respect to this second element, experiences in the recent past are given greater weight than experiences that occurred in the more distant past. The results confirm that the great recession has had a dramatic effect on the distribution of economic insecurity in both countries with the effect being much stronger in the USA.
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 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.
in Betti, Gianni; Lemmi, Achille (Eds.) Poverty and Social Exclusion (2014)
Individual well-being is multidimensional and various aspects of the quality of life need to be jointly considered in its measurement. The literature on the subject has proposed many indices of multidimensional poverty and deprivation and explored the properties that are at the basis of these measures. The purpose of this chapter is to add intertemporal considerations to the analysis of material deprivation. We employ the EU-SILC panel data set, which includes information on different aspects of well-being over time. EU countries are compared based on measures that take this additional intertemporal information into consideration. If we follow the path of material deprivation experienced by each individual over time we obtain a picture which differs from the annual results. Since the measurement of material deprivation is used by the EU member states and the European Commission to monitor national and EU progress in the fight against poverty and social exclusion, our results suggest that time cannot be neglected. Countries should not only be compared based on their year by year results but additional information is gained by following individuals over time and producing an aggregate measure once time is taken into account.
in Bresson, Florent; Berenger, Valerie (Eds.) Poverty and Social Exclusion Around the Mediterranean Sea (2013)
This paper characterizes a family of subgroup decomposable unit consistent multidimensional poverty indices. Unit consistency requires that poverty rankings should remain unaltered when dimensions are expressed in different measurement units. The characterized family is a simple generalization of a family of unit consistent income poverty index suggested by Zheng (2007a).
in Economic Modelling (2013), 35
A poverty reduction failure index is a measure of the extent of inability of a society to reduce its poverty level. This paper develops an ordering for ranking alternative income distributions in terms of poverty reduction failures. The ordering can be easily implemented using the generalized Lorenz or the Three I’s of poverty (TIP) curve dominance criterion. We also characterize an existing index of poverty reduction failure using an axiomatic structure.
in International Economic Review (2013), 54
We provide an axiomatic treatment of the measurement of economic insecurity, assuming that individual insecurity depends on the current wealth level and its variations experienced in the past. The first component plays the role of a buffer stock to rely on in case of an adverse future event. The second component determines the confidence an individual has on her ability to overcome a loss in the future. Two classes of linear measures are characterized with sets of plausible and intuitive axioms and, for each of these classes, an important subclass is identified.
in Rivista Italiana degli Economisti (2013), 18
The Italian health care system is managed mainly at the regional level. For this reason health care may diff er depending on region of residence. The aim of this note is to take a rigorous ex-ante approach and test for equality of health opportunities as opposed to health outcomes, which are the ex-post results. We perform non-parametric tests to evaluate if the probability of reaching the same health status di ffers by region of residence, after controlling for other influential factors such as age, gender and income. The results underline that the geographical distribution of opportunities in health is unequal, and therefore, that regional differences in outcomes are more likely to be expected.
in Review of Income and Wealth (2013), 59
We propose a characterization of a popular index of multidimensional poverty which, as a special case, generates a measure of material deprivation. This index is the weighted sum of the functioning failures. The important feature of the variables that may be relevant for poverty assessments is that they are discrete in nature. Thus, poverty measures based on continuous variables are not suitable in this setting and the assumption of a discrete domain is mandatory. We apply the measure to European Union member states where the concept of material deprivation was initiated and illustrate how its recommendations differ from those obtained from poverty measures based exclusively on income considerations.
in Keio Economic Studies (2012), 48
in Economica (2012), 79
We explore the determinants of individual wellbeing as measured by self-reported levels of satisfaction with income and life. Making use of the German Socio-Economic Panel, we provide empirical evidence for wellbeing depending on absolute and relative income levels in a dynamic framework where status and signal effects play a role. This finding holds after controlling for other factors in a multivariate setting. The main novelty is the consideration of dynamic aspects: the individual’s own history and the relative income performance with respect to other society members play major roles in the assessment of individual wellbeing.
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 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.
in Social Indicators Research (2011), 104
This paper aims at investigating empirically the relationship between self-declared satisfaction with life and an individual’s well-being as measured by the indices of deprivation and social exclusion proposed in the income distribution literature. Results on European countries show that life satisfaction decreases with an increase in deprivation and exclusion after controlling for individual’s income, relative income and other influential factors in a multivariate setting.
in Gonzales, Jason (Ed.) Economics of Wealth in the 21st Century (2011)
Recent work has documented a rising degree of wealth inequality in the United States between 1983 and 2004. In this paper, we compare the increase in the spread of the distribution with another dimension, polarization. Using alternative approaches proposed in the literature, we examine whether a similar pattern exists with regard to trends in wealth polarization over this period. Perhaps, our most notable finding is the huge increase in wealth polarization that occurred in the U.S. from 1983 to 2004, particularly from 1998 to 2004. In contrast, the Gini coefficient shows an increase in wealth inequality from 1983 to 1989 and little change thereafter.
in Applied Economics (2011), 43
This article has three goals. First, we wish to compare three multidimensional approaches to poverty and check to what extent they identify the same households as poor. Second, we aim at better understanding the determinants of poverty by estimating logit regressions with five categories of explanatory variables: size of the household, age of the head of the household, her gender, marital status and status at work. Third, we introduce a decomposition procedure proposed recently in the literature, the so-called Shapley decomposition, in order to determine the exact marginal impact of each of the categories of explanatory variables. Our empirical analysis is based on data made available by the European Community Household Panel (ECPH). We used its third wave and selected five countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
in Economica (2011), 78
This paper characterizes an index that is informationally richer than the commonly used ethno-linguistic fractionalization (ELF) index. Our measure of fractionalization takes as a primitive the individuals, as opposed to ethnic groups, and uses information on the similarities among them. Compared to existing indices, our measure does not require that individuals are pre-assigned to exogenously determined categories or groups. We provided an empirical illustration of how our index can be operationalized and what difference it makes as compared to the standard ELF index. This application pertains to the pattern of fractionalization in the USA.
in Silber, Jacques (Ed.) The Measurement of Individual Well-Being and Group Inequalities: Essays in Memory of Z.M. Berrebi (2010)
in Review of Income and Wealth (2010), 56(1), 47-64
This paper considers an intermediate notion of polarization which is defined as a convex mix of relative and absolute concepts of polarization. While absolute polarization indices remain unchanged under equal absolute augmentation in all incomes, relative indices do not change under equiproportionate variations in all incomes. We then identify the class of intermediate polarization indices whose orderings of alternative income distributions agree with the rankings generated by intermediate polarization curves. The ranking relation developed is implemented by a simple graphical device. Finally, a numerical illustration of the results developed in the paper is provided using data from Southern European countries.
in Journal of Economic Inequality (2009), 7
in Politica Economica (2009), 15
Using a measure of material deprivation, the paper shows that the well-being of individuals living in the South of Italy is consistently lower than the well-being of those residing elsewhere in the country. The correspondence between income poverty and material deprivation is almost perfect. Regional social policies were not effective not only for the insufficient budget involved but also for the method of implementation followed, being mostly based on temporary measures. There is the urgent need of the introduction of a system that guarantees minimum levels of assistance to every citizen independent of its region of residence.
in Research on Economic Inequality (2009), 17
This article axiomatically derives a class of numerical indices of integration (equality) in the distribution of different types of workers across occupations. The associated segregation (inequality) indices parallel one form of multidimensional generalized Gini inequality indices. A comparison is made with the other Gini-related segregation indices. A numerical illustration of the family of indices is also provided using US occupational data.
in Schmollers Jahrbuch (2009), 129
The relationship between an individual's economic well-being and satisfaction with own life has been the focus of many studies both within and across countries, in one period of time and over time. As a proxy of economic well-being household income both adjusted and unadjusted for household needs has been generally used. The aim of the present paper is to propose a more comprehensive measure of well-being considering the role that wealth and permanent income play in simultaneously determining satisfaction with life. The results, based on representative microdata from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), suggest that both income and wealth increase satisfaction, that long-run income is more appropriate than short-term income and that satisfaction with life is particularly high for those who are at the top of both the income and wealth distributions.