Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Charting Income Inequality: The Lorenz Curve

Bellù, Lorenzo G. and Liberati, Paolo (2005): Charting Income Inequality: The Lorenz Curve. Published in: (1. November 2005)

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Abstract

This paper explains how to build Lorenz Curves for income distributions and discusses their use for inequality measurement. A short conceptual background, a step-by-step procedure and a simple numerical example illustrate how to calculate and draw Lorenz Curves. A discussion on the use of Lorenz Curves to represent inequality is also provided. It highlights that the Lorenz Curve is one of the most used ways of representing income distributions in empirical works thanks to its immediate comparability with a “natural” benchmark, the Equidistribution line, representing the most egalitarian distribution. The concepts of Lorenz dominance and intersection of Lorenz Curves are also discussed. Furthermore, the appendix provides a detailed presentation of the properties of the Lorenz Curves.

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