Statics and Dynamics of Income Distribution: An Introductory Survey
Australian Economic Review, 1994, vol. 27, issue 4, 51-71
Abstract This article discusses some of the issues involved in making comparisons of income distributions using cross‐sectional data and in examining the dynamics of income distribution using longitudinal data. Any study of income distribution must consider the unit of analysis, the time period and the measure of income, and these are the focus of the article. Section 2, on annual incomes, begins with problems of intra‐household income sharing and the measure of income used, including household production. Comparisons among households of different size are discussed, involving the choice of equivalence scales, the use of decomposition analysis and more general dominance conditions. The role of value judgments in the use of equivalence scales is stressed. Section 3 is concerned with dynamic aspects of income distribution. It discusses methods of constructing synthetic cohorts for use in simulation exercises, the varieties of longitudinal data available, sample attrition and the unit of analysis. An appendix provides further references to the literature and data sources.
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