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Measuring inequality of well-being with a correlation-sensitive multidimensional Gini index

Working Paper 2009-124

Abstract

We propose to measure inequality of well-being with a multidimensional generalization of the Gini coefficient. We derive two inequality indices from their underlying social evaluation functions. These functions are conceived as a double aggregation functions: one across the dimensions of well-being, and another across the individuals. They differ only with respect to the sequencing of aggregations. We argue that the sequencing that does not exclude the Gini index to be sensitive to the correlation between the dimensions is more attractive. We illustrate both Gini indices using Russian household data on three dimensions of well-being: expenditure, health and education.

Authors: .

Keywords: multidimensional inequality, single parameter Gini index, correlation increasing majorization, Russia.
JEL: D63, I31, O52.