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Measuring Segregation

  • Frankel, David M.
  • Volij, Oscar

We propose a set of axioms for the measurement of multigroup school segregation. They are motivated by two criteria: do ethnic groups have similar distributions across schools? And are schools ethnically representative of their district? Our axioms are satisfied by a unique ordering. It is represented by the Mutual Information index. This index, originally proposed by Henri Theil, has a more intuitive decomposition than other indices. As an application, we find that segregation between districts within cities accounts for 33% of school segregation. Segregation across states, driven mainly by the distinct residential patterns of Hispanics, contributes another 32%.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 32130.

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Date of creation: 16 Nov 2010
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Publication status: Forthcoming in Journal of Economic Theory
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:32130
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Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070

Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1998. "Public School Segregation in Metropolitan Areas," NBER Working Papers 6779, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Oscar Volij & David Frankel, 2004. "Measuring Segregation," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 210, Econometric Society.
  3. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 455-506, June.
  4. David Card & Jesse Rothstein, 2005. "Racial Segregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap," Working Papers 93, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  5. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-20, July.
  6. Ricardo Mora & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2004. "Gender segregation by occupations in the public and the private sector.The case of Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 28(3), pages 399-428, September.
  7. Macpherson, David A & Hirsch, Barry T, 1995. "Wages and Gender Composition: Why Do Women's Jobs Pay Less?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 426-71, July.
  8. Foster, James E., 1983. "An axiomatic characterization of the Theil measure of income inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 105-121, October.
  9. Ruiz-Castillo, Javier & Mora, Ricardo, 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.
  10. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1999. "Public School Segregation in Metropolitan Areas," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(4), pages 487-504.
  11. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2002. "New Evidence about Brown v. Board of Education: The Complex Effects of School Racial Composition on Achievement," NBER Working Papers 8741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Federico Echenique & Roland G. Fryer, 2007. "A Measure of Segregation Based on Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 441-485.
  13. 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.
  14. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1978. "Alternative Measures of School Desegregation: A Methodological Note," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(3), pages 373-380.
  15. Ruiz-Castillo, Javier & Mora, Ricardo & Herranz, Neus, 2003. "An algorithm to reduce the occupational space in gender segregation studies," UC3M Working papers. Economics we031402, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  16. Ruiz-Castillo, Javier & Mora, Ricardo, 2005. "The axiomatic properties of an entropy based index of segregation," UC3M Working papers. Economics we056231, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  17. Michael A. Boozer & Alan B. Krueger & Shari Wolkon, 1992. "Race and School Quality Since Brown vs. Board of Education," NBER Working Papers 4109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Hutchens, Robert, 2001. "Numerical measures of segregation: desirable properties and their implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 13-29, July.
  19. Gregory B. Lewis, 1996. "Gender Integration of Occupations in the Federal Civil Service: Extent and Effects on Male-Female Earnings," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(3), pages 472-483, April.
  20. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-872.
  21. Barbara S. Zoloth, 1976. "Alternative Measures of School Segregation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(3), pages 278-298.
  22. Philipson Tomas, 1993. "Social Welfare and Measurement of Segregation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 322-334, August.
  23. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Ruiz-Castillo, Javier & Mora, Ricardo, 2003. "An evaluation of an entropy based index of segregation," UC3M Working papers. Economics we034014, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  25. Frankel, David M. & Volij, Oscar, 2008. "An Axiomatization of the Multigroup Atkinson Segregation Indices," Staff General Research Papers 12902, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  26. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
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