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Proximity-Sensitive Individual Deprivation Measures

Working Paper 2012-283


We propose and characterize a generalization of the classical linear index of individual deprivation based on income shortfalls. Unlike the original measure, our class allows for increases in the income of a higher-income individual to have a stronger impact on a person’s deprivation the closer they occur the income of the individual whose deprivation is being assessed. The subclass of our measures with this property is axiomatized in our second result.

Authors: Walter Bossert, Conhita D’Ambrosio.

Keywords: Income distribution, relative deprivation, equity.
JEL: D63.