Statistical Papers

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 343–364 | Cite as

Inequality indices and the starshaped principle of transfers

  • Karl Mosler
  • Pietro Muliere


The evaluation of income distributions is usually based on the Pigou-Dalton (PD) principle which says that a transfer from any people to people who have less decreases economic inequality, i.e., increases the social evaluation index. We introduce two weaker principles of transfers which refer to a parameter θ. With the new principles, only those PD transfers increase the social evaluation index which take from the class of incomes above θ and give to the class below θ. The relative positions of individuals remain unchanged, and either no individual may cross the line θ (principle of transfers about θ) or some may do who have been situated next to it (starshaped principle of transfers at θ). θ may be a given constant, a function of mean income, or a quantile of the income distribution. The classes of indices which are consistent with these transfers are completely characterized, and examples are given.


Inequality measurement relative concentration economic disparity Pigou-Dalton transfers starshaped functions 

AMS(1980) Subject Classification

90A08 90A06 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl Mosler
    • 1
  • Pietro Muliere
    • 2
  1. 1.Seminar für Wirtschafts-und SozialstatistikUniversität zu KölnKöln
  2. 2.Dip. di Economia Politica e Metodi QuantitativiUniversità di PaviaPavia

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