Measuring and Comparing Well-Being in South American Countries Using Equivalent Incomes

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December 2015
Paper author(s): 
Andres Felipe Hoyos Martin
Poverty - Inequality - Aid Effectiveness

The purpose of this dissertation is to measure well-being in South American countries based on equivalent incomes. This measure of well-being has a multidimensional approach, and it respects preferences between individuals. We calculate equivalent incomes of individuals, using the Gallup World Poll in 2007 for six countries: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Peru. Additionally, we aggregate by country equivalent incomes as well as incomes and life satisfaction level, through a speci?c social welfare index with different grades of inequality aversion. We ?nd some differences between country rankings made by incomes and equivalent incomes in spite of their strong correlation at individual level; in addition, the results present no correlations between equivalent incomes and life satisfaction level, as expected. The greatest difference in rankings is presented by Chile, which changes from the ?rst in per capita income ranking, to the fourth in equivalent incomes ranking. Adopting equivalent incomes (based in multiple life dimensions and individual preferences) and introducing different inequality aversion parameters in the analysis lead us to better understand the well-being in Latin America.


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