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Approximations to the Truth: Comparing Survey and Microsimulation Approaches to Measuring Income for Social Indicators

Figari, Francesco and Iacovou, Maria and Skew, Alexandra J and Sutherland, Holly (2012) 'Approximations to the Truth: Comparing Survey and Microsimulation Approaches to Measuring Income for Social Indicators.' Social Indicators Research, 105 (3). pp. 387-407. ISSN 0303-8300

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Abstract

In this paper, we evaluate income distributions in four European countries (Austria, Italy, Spain and Hungary) using two complementary approaches: a standard approach based on reported incomes in survey data, and a microsimulation approach, where taxes and benefits are simulated. These two approaches may be expected to generate slightly different results, particularly in respect of individuals on lower incomes, because benefit receipts tend to be under-reported in survey data, and over-estimated in microsimulation procedures. However, we find that the two approaches do in fact produce reasonably consistent results, in terms of both inequality measures and poverty rates. To the extent that the results differ, we explore the reasons why these differences arise, and suggest directions for future research, in which each approach may inform improvements in the other. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Income; Microsimulation; Poverty; Inequality; Europe
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2013 16:09
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2022 21:01
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/7952

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