Poles Apart? An Analysis of the Meaning of Polarization

24 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2010

See all articles by Yoram Amiel

Yoram Amiel

Ruppin Academic Center - Department of Economics and Management

Frank Cowell

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)

Xavier Ramos

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

Starting from the axiomatization of polarization contained in Esteban and Ray (1994) and Chakravarty and Majumder (2001), we investigate whether people's perceptions of income polarization are consistent with the key axioms. This is carried out using a questionnaire-experimental approach that combines both paper questionnaires and on-line interactive techniques. The responses suggest that important axioms which serve to differentiate polarization from inequality - e.g. increased bipolarization - as well as other distinctive features of polarization, i.e. the non-monotonous behavior attributed to polarization, are not widely accepted.

Suggested Citation

Amiel, Yoram and Cowell, Frank A. and Ramos, Xavier, Poles Apart? An Analysis of the Meaning of Polarization. Review of Income and Wealth, Vol. 56, No. 1, pp. 23-46, March 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1551553 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4991.2009.00361.x

Yoram Amiel (Contact Author)

Ruppin Academic Center - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Emek Hefer 40250
Israel

Frank A. Cowell

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 (0)171-955 7277 (Phone)
+44 (0)171-242 2357 (Fax)

Xavier Ramos

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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