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Dissimilarities between categorical variables


  • Rodrigo Peñaloza

    () (Departamento de Economia (Department of Economics) Faculdade de Economia, Administração, Contabilidade e Ciência da Informação e Documentação (FACE) (Faculty of Economics, Administration, Accounting and Information Science) Universidade de Brasília)


When we deal with two categorical variables, Ginis index of distributional transvariation is a most usefull tool to measure the distributional difference between them. By means of a modi ed transvariation, which we call Euclidean transvari- ation, we showed that our measure of transvariation can be decomposed into the difference of two terms: a measure of categorical separation and the average variabil- ity. This decomposition allows us to view the dissimilarities between two categorical variables through three di¤erent lenses: distribution, modality, and variability. Fi- nally, by de ning a simpler measure of statistical dependence based on Pearsons X2, we prove a relationship between statistical dependence and the transvariational impact of one variable onto another.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodrigo Peñaloza, 2011. "Dissimilarities between categorical variables," Working papers - Textos para Discussao do Departamento de Economia da Universidade de Brasilia 351, Departamento de Economia da Universidade de Brasilia.
  • Handle: RePEc:brs:wpaper:351

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    nominal variables; transvariation; degree of dependence;

    JEL classification:

    • C49 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Other

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