Measuring Inequality using Geospatial Data
Jaqueson Galimberti (),
Stefan Pichler () and
Regina Pleninger ()
Additional contact information
Regina Pleninger: KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich
No 2020-07, Working Papers from Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics
The main challenge in studying economic inequality is limited data availability, which is particularly problematic in developing countries. We construct a measure of economic inequality for 234 countries and territories from 1992 to 2013 using satellite data on nighttime light emissions as well as gridded population data. Key methodological innovations include the use of varying levels of data aggregation, and a parsimonious calibration of the lights-prosperity relationship to match traditional inequality measures based on income data. Indeed, we obtain a measure that is significantly correlated with cross-country variation in income inequality. Subsequently, we provide three applications of the data in the fields of health economics and international finance. Our results show that light- and income-based inequality measures lead to similar results in terms of cross-country correlations, but not for the dynamics of inequality measure can capture more enduring features of economic activity that are not directly captured by income.
Keywords: Nighttime lights; inequality; gridded population (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 E01 I14 O11 O47 O57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-big, nep-geo and nep-mac
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Working Paper: Measuring Inequality using Geospatial Data (2021)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:aut:wpaper:202007
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Working Papers from Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Gail Pacheco ().