Relative inequality and poverty in Germany and the United States using alternative equivalence scales

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We use data from the Luxembourg Income Study to show the sensitivity of measures of relative economic well-being of persons in the U.S. and Germany using official equivalence scales and consumption-based country-specific equivalence scales developed for the two countries. Overall inequality and poverty levels are found not to be sensitive to the equivalence scale used. However, the official German equivalence scale yields quite different results from the others with respect to the relative income and poverty levels of vulnerable groups within the population, especially older single people.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Income and Wealth
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)381-400
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.1996

Bibliographical note

This study is funded by the National Institute on Aging, Program Project 1-PO1-AG0974-01, “The Well-Being of the Elderly in a Comparative Context,” and by the National Science Foundation under grant #SB95-11521. We would like to thank Patricia Ruggles, Mary Daly, Inge O'Connor, and Nicole Ladewig for their comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this paper.