@article{Urban_2024, title={Two Classical Decompositions of the Gini Index by Income Source: Interpretation of the Contribution Terms}, volume={32}, url={https://jid.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/jid/article/view/40592}, abstractNote={<p>The natural Gini decomposition (Rao 1969) and marginal Gini decomposition (Lerman and Yitzhaki 1985) are the most common methods for revealing the contributions of various income sources to total income inequality. Nevertheless, the former method has often been criticised, with two major objections: 1) its contribution terms lack a meaningful interpretation and 2) it yields a contribution of zero for a uniformly distributed income source. Regarding Objection 1, this article shows that the contribution of an income source expresses an inequality reduction due to the marginal replacement of this source by a uniformly distributed counterfactual income. Concerning Objection 2, the article shows that the natural Gini decomposition corresponds to the absolute inequality view, according to which equal additions of income leave inequality unchanged. Analogously, it is shown that the marginal Gini decomposition corresponds to the relative inequality view. Thus, if the view of inequality under consideration is the absolute (relative) one, the researcher should use the absolute (relative) Gini index and the natural (marginal) decomposition. The article also discusses the relationships between the two decompositions by income source and various Gini index-based decompositions of the redistributive effects of the fiscal system.</p>}, number={3-4}, journal={Journal of Income Distribution®}, author={Urban, Ivica}, year={2024}, month={Jan.} }