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st: Inequality of education: ineqdec0?

From   "Stephen P. Jenkins" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: Inequality of education: ineqdec0?
Date   Fri, 19 Feb 2010 14:37:12 -0000


Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 19:16:44 +0100
From: "Francesco Burchi" <>
Subject: st: Inequality of education: ineqdec0?

Dear Statalisters,

I am using individual data to calculate inequality of educational
participation across people in a country in 3 different year. I
like to compute the Gini coefficient and possibly other indices
inequality on the variable "years of schooling". Can I use the
Ineqdec0 EDU ?

The problems is that years of schooling is a discrete variable,
presents many 0-values, and I am not sure whether I can use the
procedure used for computing income inequality. Moreover, can I
directly the indices for the three years?


It is possible to use -ineqdec0- and get answers, but you might
want to be careful in the interpretation. Two issues (and which
you flag): (i) "years of education" has a high prevalence of
zeros in the data for some countries (not OECD nations I presume!
Else you may have errors.) And (ii) the discrete nature of the
variable. As long as the discreteness doesn't represent grouping,
then I think it's legitimate to proceed using -ineqdeco-. (But
can people leave school mid-year in different countries? Do they
do so very often?)   Regarding (i), you might also have a look at
?Methods for summarizing and comparing wealth distributions?, by
Jenkins and Jäntti, ISER Working Paper 2005-05, Wealth
data also typically have lots of zeros. Note that graphical
summaries of the sort shown may be more powerful than numerical

Professor Stephen P. Jenkins <>
Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)
University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK
Tel: +44(0)1206 873374. Fax: +44(0)1206 873151 
Survival Analysis using Stata:  
Downloadable papers and software: 

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