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On Measuring Income Polarization: An Approach Based On Regression Trees

Mauro Mussini ()

Statistics in Transition new series, 2016, vol. 17, issue 2, 221-236

Abstract: This article proposes the application of regression trees for analysing income polarization. Using an approach to polarization based on the analysis of variance, we show that regression trees can uncover groups of homogeneous income receivers in a data-driven way. The regression tree can deal with nonlinear relationships between income and the characteristics of income receivers, and it can detect which characteristics and their interactions actually play a role in explaining income polarization. For these features, the regression tree is a flexible statistical tool to explore whether income receivers concentrate around local poles. An application to Italian individual income data shows an interesting partition of income receivers.

Keywords: polarization; regression trees; recursive partitioning; ANOVA; JEL D31; D63; C14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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