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Inequality and envy

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Our purpose is to examine the “envy” within the context of income inequality measurement. We use a simple axiomatic structure that takes into account “envy” in the income distribution. The concept of envy incorporated here concerns the distance of each person's income from his or her immediately richer neighbour. We derive two classes of inequality indices – absolute and relative. The envy concept is shown to be similar to justice concepts based on income relativities. This is the first time a complete characterisation has been provided for envy-related inequality.

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