June 2017

Comparing Cross-Country Estimates of Lorenz Curves Using a Dirichlet Distribution Across Estimators and Datasets

Andrew C. Chang, Phillip Li, and Shawn M. Martin


Chotikapanich and Griffiths (2002) introduced the Dirichlet distribution to the estimation of Lorenz curves. This distribution naturally accommodates the proportional nature of income share data and the dependence structure between the shares. Chotikapanich and Griffiths (2002) fit a family of five Lorenz curves to one year of Swedish and Brazilian income share data using unconstrained maximum likelihood and unconstrained non-linear least squares. We attempt to replicate the authors' results and extend their analyses using both constrained estimation techniques and five additional years of data. We successfully replicate a majority of the authors' results and find that some of their main qualitative conclusions also hold using our constrained estimators and additional data.

Accessible materials (.zip)

Keywords: Constrained Estimation, Dirichlet Distribution, Gini Coefficient, Income Distribution, Lorenz Curve, Replication, Share Data

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2017.062

PDF: Full Paper

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Last Update: January 09, 2020