IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Additively decomposable segregation indexes. The case of gender segregation by occupations and human capital levels in Spain


  • Mora, Ricardo
  • Ruiz-Castillo, Javier


Building upon the ideas first exposed by Theil and Finizza (1971) and Fuchs (1975), this paper presents an additively decomposable segregation index based on the entropy concept used in information theory. For any pair of classification variables in a given year, the index is decomposed into a between-group and a within-group term. To analyze intertemporal changes in gender segregation for a given partition, the index is decomposed into two terms that capture, respectively, gender composition effects, and changes in the groups' demographic importance. These decompositions are illustrated with Spanish data on occupations and human capital levels for 1977 and 1992. It is found that, in both years, the higher the educational level, the smaller is gender segregation for all age groups. Moreover, gender segregation decreases with age in all educational categories. However, most gender segregation takes place within, rather than between, age/education categories. Lastly, changes in gender composition across occupations, nearly offset by occupational mix changes, account for a decline of 2% in total gender segregation over this period.

Suggested Citation

  • Mora, Ricardo & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2003. "Additively decomposable segregation indexes. The case of gender segregation by occupations and human capital levels in Spain," UC3M Working papers. Economics we031503, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we031503

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Preston, Jo Anne, 1999. "Occupational gender segregation Trends and explanations," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 611-624.
    2. Boisso, Dale & Hayes, Kathy & Hirschberg, Joseph & Silber, Jacques, 1994. "Occupational segregation in the multidimensional case : Decomposition and tests of significance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 161-171, March.
    3. Ricardo Mora & Javier Ruiz-Castillo & Neus Herranz, 2005. "An algorithm to reduce the occupational space in gender segregation studies," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 25-37.
    4. Victor R. Fuchs, 1975. "A Note on Sex Segregation in Professional Occupations," NBER Chapters,in: Explorations in Economic Research, Volume 2, number 1, pages 105-111 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Karmel, T & Maclachlan, M, 1988. "Occupational Sex Segregation--Increasing or Decreasing?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 64(186), pages 187-195, September.
    6. Borghans, Lex & Groot, Loek, 1999. "Educational presorting and occupational segregation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 375-395, September.
    7. Hutchens, Robert, 2001. "Numerical measures of segregation: desirable properties and their implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 13-29, July.
    8. Silber, Jacques, 1992. "Occupational Segregation Indices in the Multidimensional Case: A Note," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 68(202), pages 276-277, September.
    9. Mora, Ricardo & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2003. "An evaluation of an entropy based index of segregation," UC3M Working papers. Economics we034014, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    10. Silber, Jacques, 1989. "Factor Components, Population Subgroups and the Computation of the Gini Index of Inequality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 107-115, February.
    11. Deutsch, Joseph & Fluckiger, Yves & Silber, Jacques, 1994. "Measuring occupational segregation : Summary statistics and the impact of classification errors and aggregation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 133-146, March.
    12. Francine D. Blau & Wallace E. Hendricks, 1979. "Occupational Segregation by Sex: Trends and Prospects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(2), pages 197-210.
    13. Barbara R. Bergmann, 1974. "Occupational Segregation, Wages and Profits When Employers Discriminate by Race or Sex," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 103-110, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we031503. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ana Poveda). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.