Journal Article

A General Class of Social Distance Measures

Graham K. Brown and Arnim Langer

in Political Analysis

Volume 24, issue 2, pages 211-225
Published in print April 2016 | ISSN: 1047-1987
Published online March 2016 | e-ISSN: 1476-4989 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pan/mpw002
A General Class of Social Distance Measures

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Measures of diversity and disparity within a population are used for investigating a range of developmental outcomes, but often by employing “off-the-shelf” indicators that may not be theoretically appropriate for the hypotheses under investigation. In this article, we proposed a general class of social distance measures that both enables us to see the conceptual relationship between different existing measures of heterogeneity more clearly and is sufficiently flexible to allow for the development of tailored hypothesis-specific measures. We show how a range of existing aggregate measures of diversity and disparity fit within the general class and demonstrate illustratively how the measure can be used to develop more precise hypothesis-specific measures.

Journal Article.  8440 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Politics

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