Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date


Working Paper Number

WP #10028, August 2010


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 1987/8 to 2007/8. 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%.

Publication Status

Published in Journal of Economic Theory, Vol. 146 No. 1 (January 2011): 1-38.

JEL Classification

C43, D63

File Format



61 pages

Included in

Economics Commons