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Measuring Inequality - What kind of inequality matters and what's the best way to measure it?

Numhauser, Felicia LU (2012) NEKK01 20121
Department of Economics
Abstract
This thesis investigates what kind of inequality the world is concerned about today and compares
traditional and new measures of inequality to see how these measures relate to current views on
fairness and justice. The analysis is based on different theories of justice and measurement princi-
ples, and the relationship between each measure and the theory is investigated. Latin America and
the Caribbean have been in the spotlight when developing the new measures because of the region’s
severe problems with inequality, and data from this region is used for exemplification in the analy-
sis. As the world’s concern about inequality seems to have increased in the last decades there’s also
been a shift from a focus on outcome... (More)
This thesis investigates what kind of inequality the world is concerned about today and compares
traditional and new measures of inequality to see how these measures relate to current views on
fairness and justice. The analysis is based on different theories of justice and measurement princi-
ples, and the relationship between each measure and the theory is investigated. Latin America and
the Caribbean have been in the spotlight when developing the new measures because of the region’s
severe problems with inequality, and data from this region is used for exemplification in the analy-
sis. As the world’s concern about inequality seems to have increased in the last decades there’s also
been a shift from a focus on outcome inequality to a focus on equal opportunities. There’s an exten-
sive research showing that the world agrees that these issues should be a priority for policy makers.
Inequalities caused by circumstances outside of the individual control are considered unjust and
should be corrected, while other inequalities are considered fair or even good. This study finds that
the traditional measures of inequality have become inappropriate as a tool since outcome inequality
is no longer of interest. What policy makers need is a measure to determine the sources of inequal-
ity in society and how opportunities are distributed between it’s members. The new measures are
definitely a step in the right direction, even if there might be comparability and measurement issues
to work out before a wider implementation is possible. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Numhauser, Felicia LU
supervisor
organization
course
NEKK01 20121
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Inequality, inequality measurement, fairness, equity, Latin America, Caribbean, Welfare, Opportunities, Gini, General Entropy Class, Atkinson Class, IHDI, HOI, Top-Down Approach
language
English
id
3051264
date added to LUP
2012-09-27 12:53:08
date last changed
2012-09-27 12:53:08
@misc{3051264,
  abstract     = {This thesis investigates what kind of inequality the world is concerned about today and compares 
traditional and new measures of inequality to see how these measures relate to current views on 
fairness and justice. The analysis is based on different theories of justice and measurement princi- 
ples, and the relationship between each measure and the theory is investigated. Latin America and 
the Caribbean have been in the spotlight when developing the new measures because of the region’s 
severe problems with inequality, and data from this region is used for exemplification in the analy- 
sis. As the world’s concern about inequality seems to have increased in the last decades there’s also 
been a shift from a focus on outcome inequality to a focus on equal opportunities. There’s an exten- 
sive research showing that the world agrees that these issues should be a priority for policy makers. 
Inequalities caused by circumstances outside of the individual control are considered unjust and 
should be corrected, while other inequalities are considered fair or even good. This study finds that 
the traditional measures of inequality have become inappropriate as a tool since outcome inequality 
is no longer of interest. What policy makers need is a measure to determine the sources of inequal- 
ity in society and how opportunities are distributed between it’s members. The new measures are 
definitely a step in the right direction, even if there might be comparability and measurement issues 
to work out before a wider implementation is possible.},
  author       = {Numhauser, Felicia},
  keyword      = {Inequality,inequality measurement,fairness,equity,Latin America,Caribbean,Welfare,Opportunities,Gini,General Entropy Class,Atkinson Class,IHDI,HOI,Top-Down Approach},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Measuring Inequality - What kind of inequality matters and what's the best way to measure it?},
  year         = {2012},
}