A spatial decomposition of the Gini coefficient

Sergio J. Rey, Richard J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The paper introduces a spatial decomposition of the Gini coefficient that supports the detection of spatial autocorrelation conjointly with an indicator of overall inequality. An additive pairwise decomposition based on a spatial weights matrix partitions inequality between observations that are geographically neighbors and those that are not. A framework for inference on the spatial decomposition is also suggested. The statistical properties of the decomposition measure are evaluated in a Monte Carlo simulation and an empirical illustration involving per capita income inequality in the US states is also provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-70
Number of pages16
JournalLetters in Spatial and Resource Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Spatial autocorrelation
  • Spatial inequality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies


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