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On the Measurement of Polarization

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  • Esteban, Joan
  • Ray, Debraj

Abstract

Suppose that the authors are interested in the distribution of a set of characteristics over a population. They study a precise sense in which this distribution can be said to be polarized and provide a theory of measurement. Polarization, as conceptualized here, is closely related to the generation of social tensions, to the possibilities of revolution and revolt, and to the existence of social unrest in general. The authors take special care to distinguish their theory from the theory of inequality measurement. They derive measures of polarization that are easily applicable to distributions of characteristics such as income and wealth. Copyright 1994 by The Econometric Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:62:y:1994:i:4:p:819-51
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