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A social welfare approach for measuring welfare protection

Luis Ayala and Elena Barcena

The Journal of Economic Inequality, 2018, vol. 16, issue 1, No 3, 59 pages

Abstract: Abstract The measurement of the level of protection provided by minimum income programs has often focused on one of two dimensions: adequacy or coverage. The rankings of regions or countries in terms of the protection provided can be very different depending on the chosen outcome. In this paper, we adopt a social welfare approach for measuring welfare protection looking at the effects of adequacy and coverage on economic welfare. Based on standard assumptions of social welfare functions, we propose a parameterized family of indices that satisfy desirable properties. Our empirical illustration using Spanish data confirms that focusing only on standard measures of adequacy may introduce an important bias, making it difficult to properly identify real differences in terms of social welfare among programs.

Keywords: Adequacy; Coverage; Minimum income; Social welfare; Welfare protection (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s10888-017-9361-y

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