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An Evaluation Of An Entropy Based Index Of Segregation

  • Ricardo Mora


  • Javier Ruiz-Castillo


This paper reviews the properties suggested in the methodological literature on the measurement of gender segregation by occupation. It is found that an index of segregation based on the entropy concept satisfies twelve basic axioms previously proposed in the single-dimensional case. This index can be expressed as the sum of a between-group and a within-group term in the two-dimensional case. In pair-wise comparisons, it can be meaningfully decomposed into three terms, one of which is independent of both the gender composition of the population and the population’s distribution across occupations. Finally, it can be motivated as two different loglikelihood tests in nonparametric econometric models. Other existing measures of segregation either fail to satisfy one or more of the basic axioms, do not admit a between/within decomposition, have not been motivated from a statistical approach, or are based on more restricted econometric models.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we034014.

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Date of creation: Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we034014
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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. Butler, Richard J., 1987. "New indices of segregation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 359-362.
  6. Silber, Jacques, 1992. "Occupational Segregation Indices in the Multidimensional Case: A Note," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 68(202), pages 276-77, September.
  7. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-20, July.
  8. Hutchens, Robert, 2001. "Numerical measures of segregation: desirable properties and their implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 13-29, July.
  9. Borghans, Lex & Groot, Loek, 1999. "Educational presorting and occupational segregation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 375-395, September.
  10. Ricardo Mora & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2003. "Gender Segregation: From Birth To Occupation," Economics Working Papers we033612, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  11. Anthony F. Shorrocks & James E. Foster, 1987. "Transfer Sensitive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 485-497.
  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. 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 107-15, February.
  14. Karmel, T & Maclachlan, M, 1988. "Occupational Sex Segregation--Increasing or Decreasing?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 64(186), pages 187-95, September.
  15. 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.
  16. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
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