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On Unit Free Assessment of The Extent of Multilateral Distributional Variation

Gordon Anderson, Oliver Linton (), Maria Grazia Pittau, Yoon-Jae Whang () and Roberto Zelli ()

Cambridge Working Papers in Economics from Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge

Abstract: Multilateral comparison of outcomes drawn from multiple groups pervade the social sciences and measurement of their variability, usually involving functions of respective group location and scale parameters, is of intrinsic interest. However, such approaches frequently mask more fundamental differences that more comprehensive examination of relative group distributional structures reveal. Indeed, in categorical data contexts, location and scale based techniques are no longer feasible without artificial and questionable cardinalization of categories. Here, Ginis' Transvariation measure is extended and employed in providing quantitative and visual multilateral comparison tools in discrete, continuous, categorical, univariate or multivariate settings which are particularly useful in paradigms where cardinal measure is absent. Two applications, one analyzing Eurozone cohesion in terms of the convergence or divergence of constituent nations income distributions, the other, drawn from a study of aging, health and income inequality in China, exemplify their use in a continuous and categorical data environment.

Keywords: Gini; Inequality; Poverty; Transvariation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C10 D31 D63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-12-15
Note: obl20
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