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Inequalities between Groups: Theory and Empirics

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  • Jayadev, Arjun
  • Reddy, Sanjay G.

Abstract

Summary Inequality between identity groups has long been thought of as an important contributor to social unrest and violence as well as being important in assessing the justice of societies. Yet, the measurement of the ways in which such groups differ and are unequal remains underdeveloped. Accordingly, this paper introduces three distinct but interlinked concepts relating to inequality between groups which can be used in empirical estimation of group based inequality. We define and discuss the concepts of representational inequality, sequence inequality, and group inequality comparison. Representational inequality captures the extent to which a given level of attribute is shared between members of distinct groups, sequence inequality captures the extent to which groups are ordered hierarchically in their possession of the attribute and group inequality comparison captures the extent to which differences between groups account for the overall inequality of individuals. These concepts can be used to measure the degree of segregation, clustering, and polarization between groups. In order to illustrate the merit of these concepts and their joint application to understanding group based inequality we provide an example using Demographic and Health Surveys data for five societies. It may be seen that the choice of measures is greatly consequential in applied work.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 159-173

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:2:p:159-173

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

Related research

Keywords: identity inequality segregation polarization clustering groups discrimination conflict;

References

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  1. X. Zhang & R. Kanbur, 2001. "What Difference Do Polarisation Measures Make? An Application to China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 85-98.
  2. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-51, July.
  3. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 2003. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Cahiers de recherche 0301, CIRPEE.
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  5. Anderson, Gordon, 2004. "Toward an empirical analysis of polarization," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 1-26, September.
  6. José Garcia Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2004. "Ethnic polarization, potential conflict and civil wars," Economics Working Papers 770, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2005.
  7. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1994. "Economic distance and overlapping of distributions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 147-159, March.
  8. D. Jayaraj & S. Subramanian, 2006. "Horizontal and Vertical Inequality: Some Interconnections and Indicators," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 75(1), pages 123-139, 01.
  9. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-58, May.
  10. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
  11. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  12. Fryer, Roland & Echenique, Federico, 2007. "A Measure of Segregation Based on Social Interactions," Scholarly Articles 2958220, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Anjan Ray chaudhury, 2013. "Interpreting the concept of representational inequality to reckon between-group inequality for different types of data," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(4), pages 2890-2904.
  2. Sripad Motiram & Nayantara Sarma, 2011. "Polarization, inequality and growth: The Indian experience," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2011-011, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  3. Sripad Motiram & Nayantara Sarma, 2011. "Polarization, inequality and growth: The Indian experience," Working Papers 225, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.

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