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The joint effect of ethnicity and gender on occupational segregation : an approach based on the Mutual Information Index

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  • Daniel Guinea Martin
  • Ricardo Mora
  • Javier Ruiz Castillo

Abstract

This article studies the effects of gender and ethnicity on occupational segregation. The traditional approach to this topic measures the two sources of segregation separately. In contrast, we measure the joint effect of gender and ethnicity by applying a multigroup segregation index–the Mutual Information or M index–to the product of the two genders and seven ethnic groups distinguished in our census data for England and Wales in 2001. We exploit M's strong group decomposability property to consistently pose the following two questions: (i) How much does each source contribute to occupational segregation, controlling for the effect of the other? (ii) Is the combined impact of gender and ethnicity greater than, equal to, or smaller than the sum of their individual effects? The main empirical findings are the following two. First, we confirm previous results showing the greater importance of gender over ethnicity as a source of occupational segregation. However, we find that ethnicity contributes 13.5 percent of overall segregation in geographical areas where minorities concentrate. Second, contrary to intersectionality theories, we find that there is a small, “dwindling” interaction effect between the two sources of segregation: ethnicity slightly weakens the segregative power of gender, and vice versa.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we1140.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1140

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Keywords: Britain; Disadvantage; Ethnicity; Gender; Intersectionality; Mutual Information Index; Occupations; Segregation;

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  1. Frankel, David M. & Volij, Oscar, 2011. "Measuring School Segregation," Staff General Research Papers 35115, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Borghans, Lex & Groot, Loek, 1999. "Educational presorting and occupational segregation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 375-395, September.
  3. Miller, Vincent P. & Quigley, John M., 1990. "Segregation by Racial and Demographic Group: Evidence from the San Francisco Bay Area," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1839w13f, University of California Transportation Center.
  4. Paula England, 1982. "The Failure of Human Capital Theory to Explain Occupational Sex Segregation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 358-370.
  5. Ricardo Mora & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2003. "Additively Decomposable Segregation Indexes. The Case of Gender Segregation by Occupations and Human Capital Levels in Spain," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 147-179, August.
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