World income inequality databases: an assessment of WIID and SWIID

Produced by: 
London School of Economics
Available from: 
January 2016
Paper author(s): 
Stephen P. Jenkins
Topic: 
Methodology
Poverty - Inequality - Aid Effectiveness
Year: 
2016
tags: 

This article assesses two secondary data compilations about income inequality – the World Income Inequality Database (WIIDv2c), and the Standardized World Income Inequality Database (SWIIDv4.0) which is based on WIID but with all observations multiply-imputed. WIID and SWIID are convenient and accessible sources for researchers seeking crossnational data with global coverage for relatively long time periods. Against these undoubted benefits must be set costs arising from lack of data comparability and quality and also, in the case of SWIID, questions about its imputation model. WIID and SWIID users need to recognize this benefit-cost trade-off and ensure their substantive conclusions are robust to potential data problems. I provide detailed description of the nature and contents of both sources plus illustrative regression analysis. From a data issues perspective, I recommend WIID over SWIID, though my support for use of WIID is conditional.

ACCESS PAPER

Research section: 
Latest Research
Share this