Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date


Working Paper Number

WP #07009, March 2007; Old working paper #12818


We propose a set of axioms for the measurement of school-based segregation with any number of ethnic groups. These axioms are motivated by two criteria. The first is evenness: how much do ethnic groups’ distributions across schools differ? The second is representativeness: how different are schools’ ethnic distributions from one another? We prove that a unique ordering satisfies our axioms. It is represented by an index that was originally proposed by Henri Theil (1971). This “Mutual Information Index” is related to Theil’s better known Entropy Index, which violates two of our axioms.

JEL Classification

C43, C81, D63

File Format



41 pages

Included in

Economics Commons