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World Income Inequality Databases: An Assessment of WIID and SWIID

Stephen Jenkins ()

No 8501, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract: This article assesses two secondary data compilations about income inequality – the World Income Inequality Database (WIIDv2c), and the Standardized World Income Inequality Database (SWIIDv4.0) which is based on WIID but with all observations multiply-imputed. WIID and SWIID are convenient and accessible sources for researchers seeking cross-national data with global coverage for relatively long time periods. Against these benefits must be set costs arising from lack of data comparability and quality and also, in the case of SWIID, questions about its imputation model. WIID and SWIID users need to recognize this benefit-cost trade-off and ensure their substantive conclusions are robust to potential data problems. I provide detailed description of the nature and contents of both sources plus illustrative regression analysis. From a data issues perspective, I recommend WIID over SWIID, though my support for use of WIID is conditional.

Keywords: WIID; imputation; global inequality; inequality; Gini; SWIID (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C81 C82 D31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lam and nep-ltv
Date: 2014-09
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Published in: Journal of Economic Inequality, 13 (4), December 2015, 629–671

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Journal Article: World income inequality databases: an assessment of WIID and SWIID (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: World income inequality databases: an assessment of WIID and SWIID (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: World Income Inequality Databases: an assessment of WIID and SWIID (2014) Downloads
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