A Comparison of Permanent and Measured Income Inequality

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The degree of inequality present in the distribution of income may be measured with a gini coefficient. If the distribution is found to empirically fit a particular distribution function, then the gini coefficient may be derived from the mean value of income and the variation from the mean. For the purpose of this study, the Beta II distribution was used as the function which most closely approximates the actual distribution of income. The Beta II function provides the skewness which is normally found in an income distribution as well as fulfilling other required characteristics. The degree of inequality was approximated ... continued below

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v, 58 leaves: ill.

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McHargue, Susan L. (Susan Layne) August 1986.

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  • McHargue, Susan L. (Susan Layne)

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Description

The degree of inequality present in the distribution of income may be measured with a gini coefficient. If the distribution is found to empirically fit a particular distribution function, then the gini coefficient may be derived from the mean value of income and the variation from the mean. For the purpose of this study, the Beta II distribution was used as the function which most closely approximates the actual distribution of income. The Beta II function provides the skewness which is normally found in an income distribution as well as fulfilling other required characteristics. The degree of inequality was approximated for the distribution of income from all sources and from ten separate components of income sources in constant (1973) dollars. Next, permanent income from all sources and from the ten component sources was estimated based upon actual income using the double exponential smoothing forecasting technique. The estimations of permanent income, which can be thought of as expected income, were used to derive measures of permanent income inequality. The degree of actual income inequality and the degree of permanent income inequality, both being represented by the hypothetical gini coefficient , were compared and tested for statistical differences. For the entire period under investigation, 1952 to 1979, the net effect was no statistically significant difference between permanent and actual income inequality, as was expected. However, significant differences were found in comparing year by year. Relating permanent income inequality to the underlying, structural inequality present in a given distribution, conclusions were drawn regarding the role of mobility in its ability to alter the actual distribution of income. The impact of business fluctuations on the distribution of permanent income relative to the distribution of actual income was studied in an effort to reach general conclusions. In general, cyclical upswings tend to reduce permanent inequality relative to actual inequality. Thus, despite the empirically supported relationship between income inequality and economic growth, it would appear that unexpected growth tends to favor a more equal distribution of income.

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v, 58 leaves: ill.

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

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  • August 1986

Start & End Dates

  • 1952 - 1979

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • March 9, 2015, 8:15 a.m.

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  • Nov. 15, 2016, 10:50 a.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

McHargue, Susan L. (Susan Layne). A Comparison of Permanent and Measured Income Inequality, thesis, August 1986; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500812/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .