Measuring school segregation

David M. Frankel, Oscar Volij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using only ordinal axioms, we characterize several multigroup school segregation indices: the Atkinson indices for the class of school districts with a given fixed number of ethnic groups and the Mutual Information index for the class of all districts. Properties of other school segregation indices are also discussed. In an empirical application, we document a weakening of the effect of ethnicity on school assignment from 1987/1988 to 2007/2008. We also show that segregation between districts within cities currently accounts for 33% of total segregation. Segregation between states, driven mainly by the distinct residential patterns of Hispanics, contributes another 32%.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Economic Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Axiomatic method
  • Education
  • Indices
  • Measurement
  • Schools
  • Segregation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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