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The Measurement of Social Polarization in a Multi-group Context

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  • Iñaki Permanyer

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Abstract

Polarization indices presented up to now have only focused their attention on the distribution of income/wealth. However, in many circumstances income is not the only relevant dimension that might be the cause of social conflict, so it is very important to have a social polarization index able to cope with alternative dimensions. In this paper we present an axiomatic characterization of one of such indices: it has been obtained as an extension of the (income) polarization measure introduced in Duclos, Esteban and Ray (2004) to a wider domain. It turns out that the axiomatic structure introduced in that paper alone is not appropriate to obtain a fully satisfactory characterization of our measure, so additional axioms are proposed. As a byproduct, we present an alternative axiomatization of the aforementioned income polarization measure.

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  • Iñaki Permanyer, 2008. "The Measurement of Social Polarization in a Multi-group Context," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 736.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:736.08
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    1. Joan Esteban & Carlos Gradin & Debraj Ray, 1999. "Extensions of a Measure of Polarization with an Application to the Income Distribution of Five OECD Countries," LIS Working papers 218, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    2. Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2004. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1737-1772, November.
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    5. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
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    7. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    8. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    9. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-358, May.
    10. Juan G. Rodríguez & Rafael Salas, "undated". "Extended Bi-Polarization And Inequality Measures," Working Papers 10-03 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
    11. 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.
    12. Wolfson, Michael C, 1997. "Divergent Inequalities: Theory and Empirical Results," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(4), pages 401-421, December.
    13. Chakravarty, Satya R & Majumder, Amita, 2001. "Inequality, Polarisation and Welfare: Theory and Applications," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, March.
    14. Joan Esteban & Carlos Gradín & Debraj Ray, 2007. "An Extension of a Measure of Polarization, with an application to the income distribution of five OECD countries," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, April.
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