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VOL. 49 | 2006 Modeling inequality and spread in multiple regression


We consider concepts and models for measuring inequality in the distribution of resources with a focus on how inequality varies as a function of covariates. Lorenz introduced a device for measuring inequality in the distribution of income that indicates how much the incomes below the u$^{th}$ quantile fall short of the egalitarian situation where everyone has the same income. Gini introduced a summary measure of inequality that is the average over u of the difference between the Lorenz curve and its values in the egalitarian case. More generally, measures of inequality are useful for other response variables in addition to income, e.g. wealth, sales, dividends, taxes, market share and test scores. In this paper we show that a generalized van Zwet type dispersion ordering for distributions of positive random variables induces an ordering on the Lorenz curve, the Gini coefficient and other measures of inequality. We use this result and distributional orderings based on transformations of distributions to motivate parametric and semiparametric models whose regression coefficients measure effects of covariates on inequality. In particular, we extend a parametric Pareto regression model to a flexible semiparametric regression model and give partial likelihood estimates of the regression coefficients and a baseline distribution that can be used to construct estimates of the various conditional measures of inequality.


Published: 1 January 2006
First available in Project Euclid: 28 November 2007

zbMATH: 1268.62084
MathSciNet: MR2336705

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/074921706000000428

Primary: 61J99, 62F99, 62G99
Secondary: 91B02, 91C99

Rights: Copyright © 2006, Institute of Mathematical Statistics


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