The purpose of this paper is to combine multidimensional welfare analysis and entropy metrics to derive not only the best relative weights but also substitution degree among different attributes to construct multidimensional indices of well-being with Chinese Household Income Project Survey 2002 data.
The authors follow Maasoumi’s two-step measures of multivariate inequality to calculate the inequality for three social groups in China, urban residents, migrants, and rural residents. The two-step approach provides an aggregation formula which is numerically identified in this paper based on a metric entropy distance measure between the distribution of the aggregate well-being functions, on the one hand, and the distribution of the self-reported “happiness” indicator. The authors compare the differences in relative weights and substitution degree for the three groups, and link them to some institutional factors.
The authors find that incorporating substitution among attributes, and taking into consideration group heterogeneity are very important in multidimensional analysis of well-being.
The two-step approach provides an aggregation formula which is numerically identified in this paper based on a metric entropy distance measure between the distribution of the aggregate well-being functions, on the one hand, and the distribution of the self-reported “happiness” indicator.
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JEL Classification — I31, C43
The authors would like to thank Le Wang and anonymous referees and Almas Heshamti for comments and suggestions. The usual disclaimer applies.
Maasoumi, E. and Xu, T. (2015), "Weights and substitution degree in multidimensional well-being in China", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 42 No. 1, pp. 4-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/JES-04-2014-0055
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