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Measuring Segregation When Hierarchy Matters

  • Hutchens, Robert M.

    ()

    (Cornell University)

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    This paper considers the problem of measuring segregation when groups form a hierarchy whereby some groups have greater economic status than others. While existing measures of segregation address the case where people are unequally distributed across groups with the same economic status, concern often focuses on groups with different status, e.g., occupational segregation where women have limited access to high wage occupations. This paper first defines a class of segregation indexes that encompasses both the "same economic status" and "different economic status" case. It then proposes two methods for incorporating economic status into empirical work. One is to rank groups from highest to lowest economic status and apply the dominance criteria in Theorem 2. The other is to invoke a cardinal measure of group economic status and then compute a numerical index. Finally, a numerical index of segregation is introduced, and both methods are used to analyze U.S. occupational segregation by gender and ethnicity.

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp6667.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6667.

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    Length: 57 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6667
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    1. M. Fleurbaey & C. Hagneré & A. Trannoy, 1998. "Welfare comparisons with bounded equivalence scales," THEMA Working Papers 98-23, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    2. Chambaz, Christine & Maurin, Eric, 1998. "Atkinson and Bourguignon's Dominance Criteria: Extended and Applied to the Measurement of Poverty in France," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(4), pages 497-513, December.
    3. Jenkins, Stephen P & Lambert, Peter J, 1993. "Ranking Income Distributions When Needs Differ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(4), pages 337-56, December.
    4. Bourguignon, Francois, 1989. "Family size and social utility : Income distribution dominance criteria," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-80, September.
    5. Cutler, David M & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-72, August.
    6. Foster, James E, 1994. "Normative Measurement: Is Theory Relevant?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 365-70, May.
    7. Ok, Efe A. & Lambert, Peter J., 1999. "On evaluating social welfare by sequential generalized Lorenz dominance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 45-53, April.
    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. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
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