The Journal of Economic Inequality

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 147–179 | Cite as

Additively Decomposable Segregation Indexes. The Case of Gender Segregation by Occupations and Human Capital Levels in Spain

  • Ricardo Mora
  • Javier Ruiz-Castillo


Building upon the ideas first exposed by Theil and Finizza (1971) and Fuchs (1975), this paper presents an additively decomposable segregation index based on the entropy concept used in information theory. For any pair of classification variables in a given year, the index is decomposed into a between-group and a within-group term. To analyze intertemporal changes in gender segregation for a given partition, the index is decomposed into two terms that capture, respectively, gender composition effects, and changes in the groups' demographic importance. These decompositions are illustrated with Spanish data on occupations and human capital levels for 1977 and 1992. It is found that, in both years, the higher the educational level, the smaller is gender segregation for most age groups. Moreover, gender segregation decreases with age in all educational categories. However, most gender segregation takes place within, rather than between, age/education categories. Lastly, changes in gender composition across occupations, nearly offset by occupational mix changes, account for a decline of 2% in total gender segregation over this period.

additively decomposable indexes entropy measures gender segregation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Albelda, R.: Occupational segregation by race and gender, 1958- 1981, Industrial and Labor Relations Review 39 (1986), 404–411.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anker, R.: Theories of occupational segregation by sex: An overview, International Labour Review 136(3) (1997), 315–39.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Anker, R.: Gender and Jobs. Sex Segregation of Occupations in the World, International Labor Office, Geneva, 1998.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Beller, A.: Changes in the sex composition of U.S. occupations, 1960- 1981, J. Human Resources 20 (1985), 235–250.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Blau, F.: Equal Pay in the Office, Heath, Lexington, 1977.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Blau, F. and Hendricks, W.: Occupational segregation by sex: Trends and prospects, J. Human Resources 12 (1979), 197–210.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Blau, F., Simson, P. and Anderson, D.: Continuing progress? Trends in occupational segregation over the 1970s and 1980s, Feminist Economics 4 (1998), 29–71.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Boisso, D., Hayes, K., Hirschberg, J. and Silber, J.: Occupational segregation in the multidimensional case: Decomposition and test of significance, J. Econometrics 61 (1994), 161–171.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Borghans, L. and Groot, L.: Educational presorting and occupational segregation, Labour Economics 6 (1999), 375–395.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Charles, M.: Cross-national variation in occupational sex segregation, American Sociological Review 57 (1992), 483–502.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Charles, M.: Structure, culture, and sex segregation in Europe, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 16 (1998), 89–116.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Charles, M. and Grusky, D.: Models for describing the underlying structure of sex segregation, Amer. J. Sociol. 100 (1995), 931–971.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Charles, M., Buchmann, M., Halebsky, S., Powers, J. and Smith, M.: The context of women's market careers: A cross-national study, Work and Occupations 28 (2001), 371–396.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Deutsch, J., Flückiger, Y. and Silber, J.: Measuring occupational segregation, J. Econometrics 61 (1994), 133–146.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dolado, J., Felgueroso, F. and Jimeno, J.F.: Female employment and occupational changes in the 1990s: How is the EU performing relative to the U.S.?, European Economic Review 45 (2001), 875–889.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    England, P.: Assessing trends in occupational sex segregation, 1900- 1976, In: I. Berg (ed.), Sociological Perspectives on Labor Markets, Academic Press, New York, 1981.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Flückiger, Y. and Silber, J.: The Measurement of Segregation in the Labor Force, Physica-Verlag, Heidelberg, 1999.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Fuchs, V.: A note on sex segregation in professional occupations, Explorations in Economic Research 2 (1975), 105–111.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gerson, K.: Hard Choices: How Women Decide About Work, Career, and Motherhood, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1985.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gross, E.: Plus ç a change...? The sexual structure of occupations over time, Social Problems 16 (1968), 198–208.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Grusky, D.B. and Charles, M.: The past, present, and future of sex segregation methodology, Demography 35 (1998), 497–504.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hakim, C.: Key Issues in Women's Work, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Herranz, N., Mora, R. and Ruiz-Castillo, J.: An algorithm to reduce the occupational space in gender segregation studies, J. Appl. Econometrics (2003), forthcoming.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hutchens, R.M.: Segregation curves, Lorenz curves and inequality in the distribution of people across occupations, Math. Social Sci. 21 (1991), 31–51.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hutchens, R.M.: Numerical measures of segregation: Desirable properties and their implications, Math. Social Sci. 42 (2001), 13–29.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Jacobs, J.: Long-term trends in occupational segregation by sex, Amer. J. Sociol. 95 (1989), 160–173.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Jacobs, J.: Revolving Doors: Sex Segregation and Women's Careers, Stanford University Press, CA, 1989.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Jacobs, J. and Lim, S.: Trends in occupational segregation by sex, Work and Occupations 19 (1992), 450–486.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Jacobsen, J.: Trends in work force sex segregation, 1960- 1990, Social Science Quarterly 75 (1994), 204–211.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Jacobsen, J.: The Economics of Gender, 2nd edn, Blackwell, Oxford, 1998.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    James, D.R. and Taeuber, K.E.: Measures of segregation, In: N.B. Tuma (ed.), Sociological Methodology, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1985.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Kakwani, N.C.: Segregation by sex: Measurement and hypothesis testing, Research on Economic Inequality 5 (1994), 1–26.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Karmel, T. and MacLachlan, M.: Occupational sex segregation: Increasing or decreasing?, Economic Record 64 (1988), 187–195.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    King, M.: Occupational segregation by race and sex, 1940- 88, Monthly Labor Review 115 (1992), 30–37.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Mora, R. and Ruiz-Castillo, J.: Gender segregation by occupations in the public and the private sectors. The case of Spain in 1977 and 1992, Working Paper No. 03–16, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Madrid, 2003.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Mora, R. and Ruiz-Castillo, J.: An evaluation of an entropy based index of segregation, Working Paper No. 03–40, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Madrid, 2003.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Preston, J. and Brandeis, U.: Occupational gender segregation: Trends and explanations, Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 39(0) (1999), 611–624.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Roos, P.A.: Gender and Work: A Comparative Analysis of Industrial Societies, State University of New York Press, New York, 1985.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Rosenfeld, R.A. and Spenner, K.I.: Occupational sex segregation and women's early career job shifts, Work and Occupations 19 (1992), 424–449.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Sánchez, M.: La segregació n de las mujeres en el mercado de trabajo españ ol: evidencia para el período 1964- 1988, Hacienda Pú blica Españ ola (1991), 123–139.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Silber, J., Factor components, population subgroups and the computation of the Gini index of inequality, Rev. Econom. Statist. LXXI (1989), 107–115.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Silber, J.: Occupational segregation indices in the multidimensional case: A note, Economic Record 68 (1992), 276–277.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Siltanen, J., Jarman, J. and Blackburn, R.: Gender Inequality in the Labor Market: Occupational Concentration and Segregation, A Manual on Methodology, International Labor Office, Geneva, 1993.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Theil, H. and Finizza, A.J.: A note on the measurement of racial integration of schools by means of information concepts, J. Math. Sociol. 1 (1971), 187–194.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Watts, M.: How should occupational segregation be measured?, Work, Employment and Society 6 (1992), 475–487.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Watts, M.: Trends in occupational segregation by race and gender in the USA, 1983- 1992: A multidimensional approach, Review of Radical Political Economics 27 (1995), 1–36.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Watts, M.: Multidimensional indexes of occupational segregation, Evaluation Review 21 (1997), 461–482.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Watts, M.J. and Rich, J.: Equal employment opportunity in Australia? The role of part-time employment in occupational sex segregation, Australian Bulletin of Labour 17 (1991), 160–179.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Watts, M.J. and Rich, J.: Occupational sex segregation in Britain, 1979- 89. The persistence of sex stereotyping, Cambridge Journal of Economics 17 (1993), 159–177.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Weeden, K.A.: Revisiting occupational sex segregation in the United States, 1910- 1990: Results from a Log-linear approach, Demography 35 (1998), 475–487.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Mora
    • 1
  • Javier Ruiz-Castillo
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de EconomíaUniversidad Carlos III de MadridMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations