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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

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Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 19:16:44 +0100
From: "Francesco Burchi" <fburchi@uniroma3.it>
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
would
like to compute the Gini coefficient and possibly other indices
of
inequality on the variable "years of schooling". Can I use the
simple
command:
Ineqdec0 EDU ?

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

Thanks,
Francesco
-----------------------

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,
http://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/pubs/workpaps/pdf/2005-05.pdf. Wealth
data also typically have lots of zeros. Note that graphical
summaries of the sort shown may be more powerful than numerical
indices.

Stephen
-------------------------------------
Professor Stephen P. Jenkins <stephenj@essex.ac.uk>
Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)
University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK
Tel: +44(0)1206 873374. Fax: +44(0)1206 873151
http://www.iser.essex.ac.uk
Survival Analysis using Stata:
http://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/survival-analysis
http://ideas.repec.org/e/pje7.html

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