Events and Meetings of Italian Statistical Society, Statistics and Demography: the Legacy of Corrado Gini

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Measuring perceived income inequality: an evaluation of different methods
Benjamin Schalembier

Last modified: 2015-09-05


This paper provides an overview of how and why the perception of income inequality is measured. It examines three different methods of operationalizing this concept and discusses how they relate to each other. We conclude that the term “perceived income inequality” has been used quite loosely and argue that only one of the three methods measures how income inequality is perceived. The other methods either assess the perceived fairness of the current income distribution or represent the degree to which citizens over- or underestimate their own income position. We end with recommendations for further research.

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