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Welfare and Inequality Comparisons for Uni- and Multi-dimensional Distributions of Ordinal Data

Frank Cowell (), Martyna Kobus and Radoslaw Kurek

STICERD - Public Economics Programme Discussion Papers from Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE

Abstract: Decision makers and social planners are often faced with a problem of evaluating distributions of ordinal variables i.e. variables for which there are no numbers but only the ordering, such as, for example, self-reported health status, life satisfaction, working environment, quality of public goods, living conditions etc. Standard tools, namely, stochastic dominance, and inequality and risk measures, produce conclusions that can be reversed depending on the cardinalisation of an ordinal indicator which is arbitrary. Utilising the notion of integration on partially ordered sets we extend the well-known Hardy et al. (1934) result to an ordinal setting, both univariate and multivariate.

Keywords: Ordinal data; Inequality and Risk Orderings; Welfare orderings; Association (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D30 D63 D81 I31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ore
Date: 2017-01
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