On the Measurement of Polarisation: A Questionnaire Study

51 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2007

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

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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Date Written: March 2007

Abstract

Starting from the axiomatisation of polarisation contained in Esteban and Ray (1994) and Chakravarty and Majumdar (2001) we investigate whether people's perceptions of income polarisation is 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 polarisation from inequality - e.g. increased bipolarization - as well as other distinctive features of polarisation, i.e. the non-monotonous behaviour attributed to polarisation, are not widely accepted.

Keywords: polarisation, income distribution, inequality

JEL Classification: D63

Suggested Citation

Amiel, Yoram and Cowell, Frank A. and Ramos, Xavier, On the Measurement of Polarisation: A Questionnaire Study (March 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2686. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=980727

Yoram Amiel

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

Emek Hefer 40250
Israel

Frank A. Cowell (Contact Author)

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

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona ( email )

Dept. Economia Aplicada
Campus UAB
Bellaterra, Barcelona 08193
Spain

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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