Multidimensional Inequality Measures

Instructor: Suman Seth, OPHI Researcher

Class Objectives:

  • Conceptual Issue: Why multidimensional inequality.
  • Different forms of multidimensional inequality (Distribution Sensitive, Association Sensitive)
  • Classes of inequality indices satisfying different forms


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Multidimensional Inequality Measures Part 1 (not currently available)
Multidimensional Inequality Measures Part 2


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Dataset 1

Dataset 2

Reading List
Basic Readings:
LUGO, M. A. (2005): “Comparing Multidimensional Indices of Inequality: Methods and Application”, ECINEQ Working Paper Series 2005 – 14.
SAVAGLIO E (2006): “Three Approaches to the Analysis of Multidimensional Inequality”, in F. Farina and E. Savaglio (eds.) Inequality and Economic Integration. New York: Routledge.
WEYMARK, J. A. (2006): “The Normative Approach to the Measurement of Multidimensional Inequality” in F. Farina and E. Savaglio (eds.) Inequality and Economic Integration. New York: Routledge.

Further readings:

ATKINSON, A. B., and F. BOURGUIGNON. (1982): “The Comparison of Multidimensioned Distributions of Economic Status”, Review of Economic Studies. 49: 183–201.
DECANCQ, K. and M. LUGO. (2008): “Measuring Inequality of Well-Being: A Proposal Based on a Multidimensional Gini Index”. Mimeo.
GAJDOS, T. and J.A. WEYMARK. (2005): “Multidimensional Generalized Gini Indices”, Economic Theory. 26(3): 471–496.
KOLM, S.-C. (1977): “Multidimensional Equalitarianisms”, Quarterly Journal of Economics. 91(1): 1–3.
MAASOUMI, E. (1986): “The Measurement and Decomposition of Multi- Dimensional Inequality”, Econometrica. 54(4): 991–997.
TSUI, K.-Y. (1995): “Multidimensional Generalizations of the Relative and Absolute Inequality Indices: The Atkinson-Kolm-Sen Approach”, Journal of Economic Theory. 67: 251–265.
TSUI, K.-Y. (1999): “Multidimensional Inequality and Multidimensional Generalized Entropy Measures: An Axiomatic Derivation”, The American Economic Review. 84(2): 232–237.

Suggestions on publications that relate or apply this topic to the capability approach:
FOSTER, J. E., LÓPEZ-CALVA, L. F. and M. SZEKELY. (2005): “Measuring the Distribution of Human Development: Methodology and an Application to Mexico”, Journal of Human Development. 6(1): 5-29.
16 HICKS, D. A. (1997): “The Inequality Adjusted Human Development Index: A Constructive Proposal”, World Development. 25(8): 1283-1298.
MAASOUMI, E. (1999): “Multidimensioned Approaches to Welfare Analysis” in J. Silber (ed.) Handbook of Income Inequality Measurement. Boston: Kluwer Academic.
SETH, Suman. (2008): “A class of Association Sensitive Multidimensional Wellbeing Indices”. Mimeo.