Econometrics of Inequality and Poverty

For those who are interested in the econometrics of inequality and poverty measurement, here are some excellent surveys:

1- Cowell Frank (2009) Measuring Inequality. London, Prentice Hall (pdf)

This book covers both concepts and measurement issues in an accessible way but doesn’t go very far in terms of statistical and econometric techniques.

2- Deaton Angus (1997) The Analysis of Household Surveys. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.

This book covers many statistical and econometric aspects but does not include recent advances.

3- Lubrano Michel, The Econometrics of Inequality and Poverty Measurement

Excellent lecture notes by Lubrano on the subject

4- Emmanuel Flachaire, Income Distribution

Excellent lecture notes by Flachaire on the subject

5- Cowell Frank and Emmanuel Flachaire, (2015) Statistical Methods for Distributional Analysis, Handbook of Income Distribution

This is an up-to-date, comprehensive and fairly advanced survey of the subject    recommended for more advanced students.


8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sriram on September 10, 2015 at 7:57 am


    Do you recollect that I emailed you about an approach to estimate Gini? You mentioned that there may be an issue with the error term. I obtained NLS estimates and compared with Chotikapanich and Griffith (2002) JBES paper. For some functional forms the estimates are better and for others they are worse. Do you reckon it can be a paper.



  2. Posted by Reza on September 10, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Sriram, thanks for your comments

    I guess you mean Lorenz curve not Gini. To be honest, I don’t think that approach is the best way to estimate Lorenz curves and that’s why I didn’t continue our emails on that subject. We have almost finished an extensive paper on how the Lorenz curves should be estimated. I will discuss it here and share the paper very soon.


  3. Posted by Reza on September 11, 2015 at 3:21 am


    Please also see Nick’s response to your question about decomposition of Gini under one the earlier posts.



  4. Posted by NickR on September 11, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Reza – you are estimating LCs using grouped data? Is this an extension of your previous work, basically fitting a mixture of parametric densities using GMM and then integrating to get the LC?


  5. Posted by Reza on September 11, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    We estimate the Lorenz curves directly but still under an optimal minimum distance framework. I’ll discuss it here soon and will send you the paper when it is complete.


  6. Posted by Sriram on September 12, 2015 at 8:46 am

    I am not sure what (other than publishing in journals 🙂 ) is the point of using group data when unit record data is available.


  7. Posted by Reza on September 12, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    We cover individual data in the new paper as well. Can you tell me how you obtain unit record data for say 200 countries? Another point is that, at least under a parametric framework, it doesn’t matter to use a grouped or a full data set.
    Please be patient, the paper will hopefully come out in a couple of weeks.


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