Measuring Segregation: Basic Concepts and Extensions to Other Domains

By: SILBER Jacques


This paper presents the main concepts used in measuring segregation. First it shows that the cardinal as well as the ordinal approach to the measurement of occupational segregation, when only two groups are considered (generally men and women), borrowed many ideas from the income inequality measurement literature. Second, it shows that more recent advances in segregation measurement, that were the consequence of an extension of segregation measures to the case of multi-group segregation and more recently to the analysis of ordinal segregation, could be the basis for additional approaches to the measurement of economic inequality, in particular inequality in life chances, health and happiness, and eventually also to the study of polarization. Finally because the measurement of spatial segregation is a field in itself, this paper only marginally mentions concepts that have been introduced in this no less fascinating domain.
Keywords: health inequality; inequality in hapiness; inequality in life chances; multidimensional segregation; occupational segregation; ordinal segregation; polarization; residential segregation
JEL: D31

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