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Bootstrapping the Gini Coefficient of Inequality
Ecology (1987)
  • Philip Dixon, Cornell University
  • Jacob Weiner, Swarthmore College
  • Thomas Mitchell-Olds, University of Washington
  • Robert Woodley, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Despite current interest in the causes and consequences
of plant size hierarchies, there are different
opinions about the best way to evaluate a size distribution.
Weiner and Solbrig (1984) have argued that
size hierarchy means size inequality, and that the Gini
coefficient of inequality (Sen 1973) is more relevant
than skewness or variance of plant size (e.g., Turner
and Rabinowitz 1983) for most ecological questions.
Weiner (1985) presents a formula to estimate the population
Gini coefficient (G) from a sample and states
that reasonable confidence intervals for the population
Gini coefficient can be obtained by a bootstrapping
procedure (Efron 1982). This note evaluates the accuracy
of these bootstrap confidence intervals. We find
that they are reasonably accurate when calculated from
samples of 50 or more individuals, but that they are
too narrow when calculated from smaller samples.
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
This is an article from Ecology 68 (1987): 1548, doi:10.2307/1939238
Posted with permission. Copyright 1987 by the Ecological Society of America
Citation Information
Philip Dixon, Jacob Weiner, Thomas Mitchell-Olds and Robert Woodley. "Bootstrapping the Gini Coefficient of Inequality" Ecology Vol. 68 Iss. 5 (1987) p. 1548 - 1551
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