Edited by Conchita D’Ambrosio
Chapter 21: Segregation: theoretical approaches
Segregation and the study of its effects on socioeconomic variables has increasingly become an object of interest for economists. The multifaceted nature of the concept of segregation has led to the development of numerous indices which have tried to capture its different aspects. This chapter surveys the segregation literature focusing on axiomatic models. The axiomatic approach, by emphasizing the essential properties that the various measures share and those on which they differ, can help researchers to select the segregation indices that best fit their purposes. After presenting the basic notation, the chapter introduces the Lorenz segregation ordering on two-group cities and the four basic properties it satisfies. Examples of segregation indices are then illustrated. Additional axioms that segregation indices may satisfy, and some characterization results, are also presented. Finally, the case of variable number of groups is analysed and a further characterization theorem is formulated.
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