Consistent comparisons of attainment and shortfall inequality: a critical examination

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Abstract

An inequality measure is ‘consistent’ if it ranks distributions the same irrespective of whether health quantities are represented in terms of attainments or shortfalls. This consistency property severely restricts the set of admissible inequality measures. We show that, within a more general setting of separate measures for attainments and shortfalls, the consistency property is a combination of two conditions. The first is a compelling rationality condition that says that the attainment measure should rank attainment distributions as the shortfall measure ranks shortfall distributions. The second is an overly demanding condition that says that the attainment measure and the shortfall measure should be identical. By dropping the latter condition, the restrictions on the admissible inequality measures disappear.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1425-1432
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Economics
Volume25
Issue number11
Early online date14 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

Keywords

  • health inequality
  • attainment inequality
  • shortfall inequality
  • consistency
  • CONCENTRATION INDEX
  • HEALTH INEQUALITY
  • SOCIOECONOMIC INEQUALITY
  • BINARY VARIABLES

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