37 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 8, 2016
Standard measures of multidimensional inequality (implicitly) assume common preferences for all individuals and, hence, are not sensitive to preference heterogeneity among the members of society. In this paper, we measure the inequality of the distribution of equivalent incomes, which is a preference-sensitive multidimensional well-being measure. To quantify the contribution of preference heterogeneity to well-being inequality, we use a decomposition method that calculates well-being inequality in different counterfactual distributions. We focus on four sources of well-being inequality: the correlation between outcomes and preferences, the preference heterogeneity, the correlation between the outcome dimensions, and the inequality within each of the outcome dimensions. We find that preference heterogeneity accounts for a considerable part of overall well-being inequality in Russia for the period of 1995 to 2005.
Keywords: Well-being Inequality, Equivalent Incomes, Preference Heterogeneity
JEL Classification: D60, D71, I31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Decancq, Koen and Fleurbaey, Marc and Schokkaert, Erik, Well-Being Inequality and Preference Heterogeneity (June 8, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2795463