Comparing Polarization Measures

Joan Esteban and Debraj Ray

in The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Peace and Conflict

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780195392777
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Comparing Polarization Measures

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Economics
  • Microeconomics
  • Econometrics and Mathematical Economics



This article reviews and compares different measures of polarization within a unifying framework. A country can be highly unequal in income and wealth, but it might not be highly polarized in economic terms. Conversely, a country can be considered economically equal, but nonetheless highly polarized, if there are two distinct, though not too distant, income groups facing one another. Similar comments apply to other ethnic or religious measures of fragmentation. The discussion focuses on unidimensional polarization, the leading example being income polarization.

Keywords: polarization measures; economic inequality; income polarization; unidimensional polarization

Article.  9654 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Microeconomics ; Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »